Everything turns a beautiful blue.Sights, sounds, touch, and mind-sets are changed.
Creativity flows freely from your mind to the hand to the pen and to the paper.This blue is “the blue that knows you and where you live and it’s never going to forget”(107).The blue is the fix and excitement an addict gets from drugs.Addicts look for an escape.
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- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
They feel that if they just have that hit they will enjoy life and its experiences to a fuller extent.In Kate Braverman’s short story “Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta,” she describes one woman’s struggle with drugs and how she eventually turns back to them after being sober for so many years.Through examining the changing appearance of Lenny, her longing for escape from every day life, and the use of blue and green, it is evident that her temptations will get the better of her and destroy all that she tries to maintain when sober. Lenny is the symbol for her addiction.When first introduced to Lenny, she describes him with some sort of disgust.
“He was short, fat, pale.He had bad teeth.His hair was dirty”(89).This shows how she isn’t interested in drugs anymore.He then tries harder and harder to seek her out and talk to her.Then, the temptation is introduced.
‘“You want to get in over your head.You want to see what’s on the other side.I’ll show you.I’ll take you there.It’ll be the ride of your life”’(91).But the more persistent he is and the more he is always around, the more she is gradually attracted to him, and in turn the drugs that she has tried to quit.
“His face seemed younger and tanner than she had remembered”(93).He starts showing up to the meeting in a small car, then on a motorcycle.Then he arrives in a red Ferrari.
As time passes, her urge to do drugs grows stronger and stronger.‘“I was expecting you,” Lenny said.“I told you.You can’t get away from me”’(96).He pampers her with lavish stories and promises beyond his reach.It is all a temptation.He even makes her drink for the first time.She has slipped back into her old schedule, discarding the watch that kept her grounded and on time to her many meetings and functions.
She gets upset with Lenny for coming to her house because now her addiction is following herhome and effecting her daughter.When the daughter is first mentioned, the narrator tries to go to a different clinic and avoid Lenny, but she ends up going back anyway.It is evident that she can’t leave her addiction behind.
For her, everyday acts seem much more enjoyable when on drugs.She goes out of their way to experience something new and exciting.She is a creative writer and uses drugs as a way to get back to her child-like imaginative state.Suddenly, with the drugs back in her life, she seems to have much more insight and a wilder imagination.“And the afternoon was absinthe yellow and almond, burnt orange and chrysanthemum.And in the abstract sky, a litany of kites”(93).
She longs to feel this way all of the time, but she knows the consequences.She sees doing drugs like going to a carnival.It is an escape from the boring life she is leading now.Even though she has a daughter, she still feels like there is something she is missing out on.
The idea of motherhood takes backseat to her lust for drugs. Colors play a huge role in her life.“She didn’t reply.She sat in her car.It was strange how blue the sky seemed, etched with the blue of radium or narcotics.Or China Blue, perhaps”(93)..