My mother always had trouble keeping her cleaning women. One day I was sitting at the kitchen table playing, drawing with Crayons with my baby sister Meg while the woman was cleaning the stove. I was thinking about trains, big black steam locomotives speeding and whistling, and trying to draw them. If I cupped my hands in front of my eyes I could almost see them rushing along through tunnels. Someone asked my sister what her favorite color was. “Red,” she answered. And then they asked me. “Black,” I replied, thinking about the locomotives. “Blaaaaack!” The next day my mother told me that the woman had quit, offended by my remark. My mother was not angry with me. She wanted me to know what a sensitive subject color could be.

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