I lost a colleague last week. I’d taken my daughter to him a few times at the after-hours clinic and he was wonderful with her. He seemed to love kids. He used to make ice cream and bring it in for us to try. He had a very dark side. He said so in the note he left posted on the computer.
I knew him through our shared evenings with the sick. Evenings are ok, but I love mornings. I love the sounds, smells, peace. But where I found beauty, he found terror.
I’ve seen so much beauty. There’s a dad up front ordering a coffee now. His infant son is looking over his shoulder, knuckle in mouth, burbling. I’ve lain on my back in the cold watching meteors fall across the sky. Some are dim, colorless. Others flash bright blue, burning too quickly to share. Satellites slowly,steadily moving, but a friend tells me only boys care about satellites when there are shooting stars to see.
I’ve seen brown eyes in bed, green eyes in moonlight, round eyes impossibly large looking up in wordless wonder. I’ve seen my own eyes in the mirror, surprised to see my daughter’s staring back.
I’ve laughed. In my favorite wedding picture, my new wife and I are laughing by the lake. I’ve laughed hard at bad jokes, harder at good ones. I’ve cried giving bad news to patients, and again giving good news.
I’ve seen a world full of color, while some see only uniform, frightening grey.
I didn’t know my colleague very well, but I liked him. It’s not so much him I mourn, more the eyes that never saw beauty.