Blue Hurt, Blue Lines, Blue Lines Blog, Devolution Of Friendship, Key Yemaya Walker, Keypsiia Walker, UNC, UNC Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, World Wide Lounge
Forgive me if this post is a duplicate from the past, though this may be new to the majority of readers. The following scene takes place at the fictional World Wide Lounge, while Key is still unsure of her feelings, and how they effect her current situation.
The piece “Devolution of Friendship” is derived from an unspoken conversation between the male protagonist (Blue Hurt) and female antagonist (Keypsiia Walker) in this piece of prose. It must be known that although the definition of protagonist and antagonist are detailed as such here, in the work Blue Lines those roles are reversed as Keypsiia Walker is our protagonist. He, Blue, speaks in both his voice, as well as Keypsiia’s voice which is derived from his perception of their interaction.
The piece begins in Blue’s voice as his unspoken thoughts appear in writing, detailing the meeting of and friendship/relationship of both he and Keypsiia (certain details are omitted in the description for sake of the integrity of the manuscript).
It began as friendly conversation,
but you were crafty in your approach
I had thought about you briefly,
but I acted as if I didn’t know
our charade lasted for one or two weeks,
love you made me hot and I know I made you weak,
So where do we go now?
Yeah, light up the Black & mild,
and I’ll lick my lips in anticipation
we both constantly show what we want,
but for some reason we’re waiting,
In Blue’s first attempts to speak to her sensibilities, in this piece, he asks the questions aiming at different quirks that he notices in their interaction. “What does her smile intimate?” “Why does he notice differences in her, in their interaction as opposed to her interaction with others?” He uses this point of the piece as an outlet to try to make sense of the intangible connection that they have, and he ends by asking the question, “is this a signal of feelings that you have for me?”
What is behind your smile each time you look at me?
What makes you blush and close your eyes when I smile?
What is it that brings tears to make you cry when I’m not around?
Do you love me?
Blue’s voice returns as he states how what was once a friendship has not become complicated. He begins to ask questions of his “friend,” that intrude upon the boundaries of friendship. “Why am I so worried about you when it comes to simple things?” “Why do I feel ‘normal’ when you are around?” Which also begs the question, Why is he not “normal,” when Keypsiia is not with him? And at the point, he has a clear indication that he has fallen for Keypsiia (though unfortunately circumstances do not allow for him/them to act upon their feelings).
Why do I become alarmed when you are a minute late?
Why do my worries disappear each time you are near?
Why can’t I move this silly grin from my face?
Am I falling?
Keypsiia’s voice appears again through Blue’s words as he asks the questions about their shared relationship. Although they are friends, she finishes his statements, she seems to know him and his tendencies, and each day it seems that their bond grows tighter and stronger, though they are just “friends.” As he did in this work previously, he ends asking her a question again, focusing on where this relationship is headed, albeit the hurdles that they face.
Why is it that you think you know me?
What makes you finish the sentences I begin?
What brings you closer to me each day?
Do you need me?
Blue’s voice returns, but his focus is admiration and voicing the limited physical nature of their relationship. Here he marvels at the beauty he sees in her. He focuses on the value of their touch, even mentioning the subtleties of her voice. Also emphasized is a loss of control, intimating that he as at the precipice of beginning to fall for her. He ends questioning the validity of his wants and desires as they relate to Keypsiia.
Why do I stare intently at your beautiful face?
Why do I try to hold you every chance I get?
Why do I need to hear your voice?
Am I for real?
Keypsiia’s voice returns through his observations for the last time in this piece as he verbalizes tangible parts of her perceived feelings for him. He describes the visible change in her when they are in their shared presence. How her embrace has changed from earlier in their friendship, and how there is a marked change when they part, almost a loss in their separation. Based on these visible markers, he asks her to follow her heart.
When you see your face brightens.
When I hug you, you feel that I am not close enough.
When I leave your heart begins to break.
Do what your heart is telling you?
Blue returns for the last time before the two part ending to this piece. He sums up all of the preceding and asks questions that can be applied to himself and conversely Keypsiia. “Why do you stay on my mind,” he asks himself, but can also ask her, what has she done to make him do so? “Why do I feel whole with you in my arms,” he asks to discern what makes her different than any other “friend,” but also what in her or what exists between them would make him feel complete? Finally, he asks, “Why do I feel empty without you?” Again, it is for him to identify what he sees in her, but for Keypsiia to find the parallel in why her friend would feel this way in regard to her.
Blue then moves to the point of trying to directly ask himself whether he has fallen, but cannot quite finish his self interrogation.
Why do you stay on my mind?
Why do I feel whole with you in my arms?
Why do I feel empty without you?
Am I in…
Blue closes the piece becoming assertive of what he sees in her, and what he wants from their friendship that has had its growth stunted, and thus has been broken down and degenerated from a simple friendship into amorous relationship and/or courting.
He ends with the statement “…by the way love (a term that he has used toward her character since they first met in Blue Lines) my answer is, Yes.” Yet, there is no spoken question, to which his words answer.
I want you to be my eyes,
when I can’t see
I want you to be my arms,
when I can’t hold on
I want you to be my heart,
when I can’t love
I want you to make me,
more than I am,
…by the way love,
my answer is…
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.