An Indescribable Color

The chief archivist relates that, upon visiting his hometown on a whim, he came upon a car show being held in the parking lot of a shopping plaza, and there discovered an indescribable color.

“The parking lot was full of vintage cars, souped-up cars, roadsters, and hot rods. You had long Cadillac convertibles, all cherry-red lacquer and fuzzy dice; hot rods with snaking flames painted all over them; and cool, zippy numbers in outdated orange-browns that a vintage James Bond would love. They all blinded you with chrome and their engines were so clean you could eat off them.

“There was one, though, that caught my eye from afar. It was a compact roadster that sported an interior refurbished in a plush, dark beige. But the flawless paint job on the exterior was the real ticket. I just kept staring at this incredible color.”

When asked to describe it, he could only say, “It made me thirsty to look at it.”

When asked to generalize, he went on:

Heliopoli_Full_EX101“Something like an aqua green-blue, but lighter, though not pastel; something akin to mint chocolate chip ice cream without the chocolate chips in it, but maybe lighter, though it’s been a while since I’ve eaten mint chocolate chip ice cream; and very like the color of a swimming pool wall once the water has been drained, like maybe a pool from the 1950s; or the color of swimming pool water itself, though a tad greener, but ‘green’ feels too strong a word — you have to remember it was a very light hue, but not pale.

“I just have nothing to compare it to.”

When asked to describe it in a single word, he replied:


This uplink was prompted by reports from the excavators at Heliopoli site about the discovery of an enormous wall. After hosing it down to reveal its surface, one exclaimed, “What a wonderful color.” When asked to elaborate, another said, “I’m getting thirsty just looking at it.”

Speculation at this point may run rampant. The chief archivist awaits transmission of photos of the wall, but expects reproduction of the color to be not quite the same as seeing it in person, and therefore prove to be inconclusive. There is the coincidence of possibly finding the same color in Heliopoli and the fact that attendance to the car show was not planned, but merely part of a jaunt.

An attempt to formulate a conclusion, the meaning of which is not clear, nevertheless contains the following: the phrase “the hand of spontaneity” and the sentence “the chief archivist experienced a visitation from Heliopoli.”

After compiling his notes for this uplink, the chief archivist happened to look at the color of the header for this blog, whereupon he exclaimed, “That’s very near like it! — but … not quite.”


3 thoughts on “An Indescribable Color

  1. I venture to say this color resembles a certain shard of ancient Roman beach glass, tumbled about in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years before washing up on the beach at Paxos, a tiny Greek isle.

  2. A beautiful formula — and entirely accurate. It would take at least that much time to produce the color.

    Speaking of sea glass and impossible colors, it is worthy of note (or noteworthy) that orange (which is not the color above, of course, but … ) is the rarest color for sea glass, found only once in every 10,000 pieces. This fact was encountered a few years ago and can be found in the book Pure Sea Glass, on a page reproduced on the book’s Web site here: .

    The couple who wrote the book and make jewelry from sea glass were profiled on a television show. It is thought they said orange was rare because it never starts out as orange, but is transformed from red glass after spending years and years in the ocean — but the book says otherwise. Oh, well.

    Regardless, will strange connectivities never cease?

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