As you see the world, I’ve been blind since birth. I see by listening. I know the truth, hear the lies, but I choose to ignore them, because to confront liars is more that I can bear.
That day started as every other day, alone and in darkness. I was walking in the woods, as I’d done countless times before, enjoying the feel of tree bark against my finger tips, of moist straw between my toes and the scent of pine in my nose. Then suddenly in my night there was a light. I turned my head and the light went away, but its glow still illuminated my peripheral vision, and led me to turn back to it. The bracelet shone in ways that even someone blind like me, could perceive it. Stumbling, I made my way to the light and saw that it was in the shape of what I knew a bracelet to be. I slid it onto my wrist and suddenly my eyes flooded with light of every color. For the first time I saw the brown bark I’d loved all those years. I saw the green grass and knelt down to touch it. A ladybug landed on a wet blade and I saw red for the first time and I gasped. But when I looked up and saw the sky, I wept without remorse.
I wanted to tell someone, so I ran to a nearby sandwich shop. Full of brightness and luminous hues, I swung the door wide and stepped in.
In that moment of new love, my open heart sought another to love, another to breathe in. But as I looked around café, I saw what I instinctively knew to be angry faces. Their skin was not brown like mine. Still believing, I sat at the gray counter before several people got up and left, as others had done many times before, but this time, being sighted, I could no longer hide behind my delusions that it had nothing to do with me. Their disdain turned my happiness into an unbearable sense of being and I ran from the counter and onto the street. With each step, each slight and dismissal from my life cascaded down upon me like dominos, insufferable and unrelenting. I ran through the rain, back through the woods, to the river beyond and unto the bridge spanning it. My salty tears flowed into my mouth as I removed and tossed my black shades into the river. I slid off the bracelet and flung it into the waters below as well. I am floating now, peering through aqua-tinted lenses into a world still revolving. Truly my pain has eclipsed my joy, and likewise shall I too pass from light back into darkness.
“Color Blind,” copyright © 2012 by Alan Jones