After some thought, he decided to end it all. But he needed something to do it with.
He pulled out his trusty black marker and started to draw a bath. Before he could finish, the marker ran out of ink.
Harold saw this as another example of life’s random cruelty.
So he turned his head away to gaze into the darkness under his bed. There was something under the bed besides darkness.
Harold reached and pulled out the object. It was his old purple crayon, nearly worn down to a stump.
He reached up to push the hairdryer into the bathtub, but stopped.
The years under Harold’s bed had dried out his old crayon. Now its purple was faded and gray.
“Mauve,” said a deep part of Harold’s brain. “Hello, Mauve,” said the rest of it. Harold decided he liked Mauve. He would take his crayon on one last adventure.
It was lonely out in the middle of the ocean. For the first time in his adolescence, Harold didn’t like the feeling.
He wanted more Mauve.
Harold made land, and drew himself a short pier to dock his tub.
With a strange new feeling – curiosity? – he took a long walk off the pier and into the void.
The void was boring. So Harold drew some gravestones for company.
He lay down on his back in solidarity with the dead. It felt relaxing and familiar. But his crayon wouldn’t let him rest.
Harold drew some birds in the sky, so Mauve could fly. They were vultures, and they started circling.
Harold thought it would be nice to give them a place to land, so he drew them a tree.
The tree looked unfinished, so he added a noose.
To his surprise, Harold did not want to use the noose. Knowing it was there was enough.
He noticed a break in the trunk of the tree, where his old crayon had crumbled a little.
Harold drew a fancy car to fill in the dent in the tree. It was a very nasty accident.
Feeling restless, Harold climbed inside the banged-up car. He drew a long road in front of him and drove off.
As the car fell, Harold looked at his faded purple crayon. It was almost used up. But Harold didn’t want to let go yet.
So he drew the long side of a building. He added a window edge and grabbed on.
Hanging by one hand, Harold drew the rest of the window and a building ledge to stand on.
Harold looked at the nub of his faded crayon. He looked down past his toes. It was a long way down from up here.
Behind him, Harold looked in the window. He made his bed, and the familiar trappings of his gloom.
Harold raised the sash and climbed inside. He lay down on the bed and drew the covers up around him.
With the last speck of his crayon, he drew the moon outside his window. And colored it in, Mauve.
Harold smiled as he fell asleep, gazing at the moon of Mauve.
He could always end things tomorrow if he had to.