Eyes are foolish

I was eight years old when my grandpa died. He was a slender old man with a full, gray mustache over his lips. I remember our family visits getting more frequent after my grandma passed away –when I was still too young to attend a funeral. I remember him calling me a “little rascal” and asking me how school was –even in the summer. I remember how he was always barefoot around the house –with his gray pants rolled up just below the knee. I remember how disapproving I was of him roaming the streets of the neighborhood with his pants still rolled up, still barefoot. I remember how the skin of his feet seemed translucent –made dark from the disease like photographic film. Grandpa suffered from congestive heart failure and died at the age of seventy-one. But first he got terribly sick and stayed in the hospital for one month before he passed.

When the time came grandpa did not die in his hospital bed like other old people. I remember, first there was this commotion and I heard my mother saying “where is he?” as she was running down the hospital hallway. So grandpa had wandered off again. I remember getting out of my red plastic chair that was screwed to the ground and running after my mother –curious about the turn-out of her quest. I had followed her all the way out of the hospital and into the lawn where grandpa was lying dead under the spring sunlight –face down with the grass growing inside his mouth, his eye wide open and his white underwear showing from the open slit of his hospital robe. He still had his brown socks on.

The scene managed to make an impression on me. Because as I was seeing him lying there, I didn’t wonder why my grandpa was lying on the lawn. I didn’t need to –it was obvious that something was missing from [grandpa]. Perhaps it was the first time my eyes were trying to prove how untrustworthy they were. Because the old man was just lying there –looking like he wasn’t a person anymore. Like it was something curious laid on the lawn –like it had been there since ever; like he was a piece of the ground. So what was missing? What was different now? What unperceived element had moved out? That was the first time I decided that eyes were not to be taken seriously. In the end, eyes were foolish. Eyes didn’t have brains. Eyes didn’t know.

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