My Dreams Were the Color of Your Eyes. Your eyes that are no longer your eyes. The same eyes that glistened their sky-blue smile at me from across the pillow, in the middle of a sleepless night. The same eyes that batted themselves and pouted at me with such precise rhythm, that I could rarely say no to anything they required from me. The same eyes that I trusted with all of my secrets. With my soul. My life.
My dreams were the color of your eyes. Your eyes that promised me forever on that brisk October day. Your eyes that clutched my heart in that boat, at that moment, when you kissed me first and said, with wind in your voice: “Finally.” Your eyes that looked so smart and adorable behind your glasses everytime you read a medical book or sheet music for your guitar – so piercing and warm inside their own nakedness, when you would take the glasses off. Your eyes that were the bluest eyes I have ever seen, and the most honest. Your eyes that, when I looked in them, spelled the word Husband.
But sleeping is something that we take for granted. Dreams are something that we take for granted. Marriage is something that we take for granted. Love and time and years are something that we take for granted.
Decades. So many couples, so many marriages, that have the privalege, the honor, of spending decades together. We will never know a decade of married life. We will never have that son or daughter that we might have had. There is nobody – not a soul – that I can look at and say: “You get that from your dad. Your eyes look just like his eyes.” I cannot see you in anyone’s eyes, and Im the only person left who cares the most about you. Other people care, but I care most of all. Because I looked in your eyes and I found my heart.
My Dreams Are Not the Color of Your Eyes. They are not even dreams. They are shattered pieces of broken glass, scattered inside my brain, feeding me with migraines and anxiety and nightmares. They are worms that swim in my skin – alligators that bite at my toes and feet as I thrash back and forth in my hot, sweaty bed. There is no such thing as rest anymore. Or sleep. There is only guilt and exhaustion and hurt and pain. There are flashbacks and terror and panic and fear. Everything turns black.
My Dreams Are the Color of Blackness. Of death and grief, of gray and ashes, of urns and caskets. Why do I keep seeing you lying in that casket? Why? Lying there over and over, with your eyes that were not your eyes, because we gave them away to the living. The same eyes that loved my soul, were now just pools of empty sunken circles, in the place where your eyes used to be. And your skin that was not your skin, because we gave that away too, so your arms looked all puffy like sausage, and your hands did not resemble the hands and the fingers that interlocked with mine as we slept side by side in bed, humming ourselves to dream. To sleep. To dream.
Where are your eyes now? A letter from the Organ Donation Center only tells me that your eyes “gave a blind man the gift of sight.” Who is he? Is he kind and funny like you? Does he love animals like you? Does he have a wife that he loves and a life that he loves, like you? Does he dream in the color of your eyes, that are now his eyes? Does his wife feel her heart burst when she looks into your eyes? Do they know that my dreams are now nightmares, and that they lurk in my closet and under my bed, existing without color?
Where is your skin now? Another letter only tells me that several burn victims received the gift of skin-tissue to help repair them and give them new arms and elbows and hands. Who are they? How many people are walking around with your skin on them? Does one of them use his fingers to strum chords on a guitar, like you did? Does their skin get dry and itchy and red, like yours did? Do they use one of their arms to hold out for their wife to grab onto when she is terrified on an airplane, like you did? Do they know or realize what a beautiful person you are? Can they somehow feel it, or carry some of that beauty with them, through your skin? Do their loved ones feel a special electricity, when they brush up against your arm?
Id like to imagine or think or dream, that maybe your skin and your tissue and your eyes and organs and parts, are all pieces of other people’s lives and families. Maybe your skin that is part of somebody’s arm is teaching his kid how to throw a baseball, like you wanted to do with our future son one day. Maybe your cornea that is part of someone’s eyes, looked into his wife’s eyes as she gave birth to their gorgeous daughter, and changed their lives forever.
Maybe none of those things are even remotely true, or possible. Maybe it’s much more simple, and much less grand. Maybe I don’t ever get to see your face again, or look into your eyes, or feel your skin and your touch.
But maybe I get to keep that piece that nobody else gets. Maybe you and I get to share your Soul and your heart, until the end of time and then longer. Much, much longer.
I need to believe that. I need to believe that in order to survive.
My Dreams Are the Color of Your Soul. Your soul that lives inside my heart, and that keeps your eyes Yours, forever.