I’ve never been one with words, and I can only carry a tune in the shower or in the car while accompanied by the radio, so I’ll leave it to Taylor Swift or Adele – Colbie Caillat, even. But someone out there needs to write a song about your eyes. Because your eyes are the greatest of all the eyes that ever were and ever will be. And I’m not saying that the other parts of you weren’t great, they were — they were magnificent. Your skin didn’t have a dry patch anywhere to be found, and neither your hands nor your lips were chapped the slightest bit.
But those eyes; the translucence of your irises I could have sworn were two donut-shaped windows to the clearest ocean where you can see the dolphins just below the surface, or the brightest sky with only the whitest, puffiest clouds — the non-threatening kind — shaped like a house, or a dog, or Jesus.
If this sounds laughable, it’s because it should. It’s laughable what you did to me with just your eyes. One look, and I was done for. Laughable, see?
But no less true.
I didn’t catch your name, but you caught my eye. Your eyes caught me. They took a lasso and wrapped it so tight around me that there was no chance for escape, even if I wanted to. I was taken prisoner by your eyes, and the only chance for liberation would have been to surrender to their grandeur — don’t mind if I do.
I don’t remember just how great you claimed those Great American Cookies to be. I don’t even know which ones I pointed to, or if I even ate the ones you handed me. Did I even pay? I must have paid — I don’t remember paying. I can only remember your eyes. The whites of your eyes void of a single red contour, as if you’ve never lost a wink of sleep, or taken a shot of tequila, or taken a drag from a blunt that you swore would never come between your lips, but all your friends are passing it around and it’s three people away from you and it would be almost rude not to do it and, after all, it would just be one drag and you wouldn’t do it again, and now it’s two people away and you don’t want to have to tell your mother that you took a drag and, let’s face it, you just don’t keep things from your mother even though she definitely took a drag or two when she was your age and wouldn’t be the least bit disappointed, and now you’re next and what if you like it and you want more and more, and now it’s your turn. But you pass it to the next person. Because your eyes are perfect, and they need to stay that way.
I want to know the best thing these eyes have beheld — was it the Grand Canyon? Was it someone’s face? Was it my face? It wasn’t my face. Maybe it was at night, with someone you loved, with the lights and your clothes off, with only the street lights pouring through the window, but just enough to make out every dimple and every curve. Maybe it was the rising sun, or the setting sun – you looked like you prefer nighttime. Maybe it was a spider on your bedroom wall that normally would keep you up at night wondering where there may be more, because you heard that statistic of how many spiders we swallow in our sleep over our lifetime, but this time you see it as a sign from someone you lost, and you’re strangely comforted by this spider, and the thought that its children are somewhere, just crawling around, biding their time.
Which begs the question of the worst thing those same eyes have been forced to witness — have they simply looked down and seen something unappealing? Was it a loved one dying, becoming too weak to form words and walk to the bathroom, so completely vulnerable until their body entirely shut down? Was it someone’s face? Was it my face? It wasn’t my face. Maybe they were handed back a paper in a 100-level psych class that had a grade you were less than thrilled about. Was it the spider in your bedroom before the time you saw it as a sign? Maybe it was a child being scolded by their parent over the most minuscule thing, and seeing the shame and the guilt and just absolute deflation on their face.
I asked if you knew just how perfect your eyes were. You said that you’d been told before. But that wasn’t my question. I wanted to know if you knew. If you knew that your eyes could alter someone’s day. That someone could be walking aimlessly around the congested malls, the greatest thing them having experienced that day, that week, was the endless amount of people-watching and the small peach/lemonade smoothie they carried that they’d been charged a medium for but didn’t have the energy or gumption to correct the cashier, that they could see your eyes, and actually be okay. Actually be good. Someone who, under normal circumstances, could see a cookie and have it be enough to transform their mood from drab to fab, but on this particular day, not even a cookie could do it. And there was a red velvet cookie. There were many red velvet cookies. There were many, many red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting, and that did nothing. But in looking up from all the red velvets and seeing your blue eyes, that did everything.
I’m still not convinced that you know this. I don’t think you know that someone could be in love with your eyes, because I was. I loved your eyes the way I love the frothy ocean — the foam that builds up and crashes against the rocks with the seagulls sitting atop them that fear the raging waves not.
I loved your eyes the way I love the scent of fast food in the car on the way home — the feeling of anticipation that makes the smell of the fries so intense that you can’t help but reach into the bag and steal a couple to satisfy the urge.
I loved your eyes the way I love a day on the couch reading a John Green novel and watching episodes of The Office, post-Karen Filippelli’s departure, pre-Michael Scott’s.
I loved your eyes the way I love the warm air that pours onto my leg from the vent on the side of my laptop on a January evening when the pilot light goes out in the furnace, which happens on pretty much a bi-weekly basis.
I loved your eyes the way I love when the cop car that’s been tailgating you for the past three quarters of a mile goes around you, and every muscle in your body relaxes. Even ones that you had no idea existed that two seconds ago were tense, relax, and you sink back into the driver’s seat and reach over and grab another fry from the oil-stained paper bag.
I loved your eyes the way I love a glass of Red Cat with Sprite, and a full tank of gas, and enough money in my account to fill the tank of gas, and 11pm when Chelsea Lately is on, and 11:30 when I’m asleep, and people who pronounce the h in “vehicle,” and self-improvement books, and home videos, and the way I would have loved our children, sitting in the back seat of our mini-van as we’re both driving them to soccer practice when this song comes on the radio, Taylor Swift or Adele — Colbie Caillat, even — singing a song about the greatest eyes that ever were and ever will be.