On blue faces:

Someone I knew had this great story about a former roommate who woke up one day with a distinctively blue tinge to his face. Alarmed, he went to his other roommate to tell her he thought there might be something seriously wrong with him. They were discussing calling the hospital when he started rubbing his forehead worriedly. Wait – the roommate said. The blue color came off when you rubbed your face.

It turned out he’d just put brand-new blue sheets on without washing them first and the color had rubbed off on his skin.

Also, this excerpt from The Two Kinds of Decay, by Sarah Manguso:

I awoke on my first Sunday on the psych ward to find a roommate. She was Japanese and she didn’t speak. In one hand she held a slip of paper with some sentences printed on it in pencil. One of them, I read later, was I understand I need to talk for discharge but I don’t like to talk when I have pain in my heart… Her face and neck were blue. What I mean is that she had come in during the night and found the whiteboard and the sweet-smelling blue marker we used to write down each other’s phone messages, if anyone called, and if we could remember what to write, and if we remember it’s a good thing to be seen doing if we wanted outdoor privileges. Kimiko found the marker and—I was not there, I am only filling in the narrative based on the part I could see—her desolation was so total that the only relief she saw was to scrub her face out with the blue marker. Her whole neck and most of her face: small blue vertical scrub marks. The doctor was explaining that she had to wash it before she’d be allowed to participate in Group. I wondered what this doctor understood and hoped it was something, because I am not a doctor and I understood Kimiko needed to have a blue face. Also she would not put on any clothes. The doctor seemed not to understand a person can be too sad to wear clothes. I asked the doctor to go away.”



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