Eyes Wide Shut
e are in the dark. She's blind, but I have my eyes closed. I pretend
that makes us closer. Empathetic. Sympathetic. Something.
"Stop chewing." Laurie hits my mouth.
"Whatever." I feel her arm touching my face, and I squeeze my eyes
tighter. Eyes wide shut. "I'm not doing anything."
"Sylvie--" She stops herself. She sighs. "You can't lie with me."
I fear her shift beside me. Her small bones crack, her skin audibly
slides across the sheet. She struggles slightly, because my heavy frame
naturally makes her roll towards me. Even though I know she feels me, and I know
she is aware how heavy I am, I imagine that her lack of sight means she
can't see. She shifts again. Her face touches my arm.
"I don't know why I invited you." She whispers.
"Why are you getting cranky? Are you hungry?" I imagine that any mood
swing is caused by lack of food. I fess up, and push my half-eaten
banana at her. Not many calories. Healthy. It touches her, presumably near her
mouth. My eyes are still closed.
She takes it out of my hand--I feel her small fingers touch my thumb.
There's a loud thud, across the room.
"Now will you stop chewing?"
Her snores begin softly, each little exhale becomes stronger, and I
begin to relax. This is the time when I feel most comfortable. Her body has
stopped fighting, it is pressed up against my front, cradled by my bulk, and
I begin to fall asleep.
"Are you comfortable?"
"I know, Laurie."
I open my eyes. I am not sure why. I felt the sunrise before I
saw it, but for some reason I decide to open them anyway. Maybe to be
sure it is actually there. I feel guilty, because Laurie can't see it. I
comfort myself in the fact that her body looks so beautiful in the morning
light. There's nothing for Laurie to really see, on my side.
I try not to wake her, because I know that when she does open her eyes,
it will be time for me to go. She asks me over every night. Never during the
day. This is our ritual.
"Kiss me, Sylvie."
I do. My eyes wide shut.
First published: February 1998