Pity for a Sighted Woman

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We were sitting in a booth at IHOP, Eating breakfast for dinner, talking, the usual small talk on a first date.We’d emailed and talked on the phone before,So I thought I knew her well enough to trust The tingles beginning to stir inside my body.

Then she dropped the bomb that turned the tingles into cold shivers, and obliterated any Spark that could have flared up into the full-fledged flame and fire of lust, let alone love, Inside me.
She said, “I don’t understand how you can convey feelings of love
Without being able to look into someone else’s eyes.”

“You really think that’s the only way to show love?” I asked,
As revulsion and pity for the poor sighted woman replaced desire and curiosity.
Still I wanted to hope there was a way I could reach her.
“Close your eyes,” I commanded, as I reached out with a hand to touch hers.
I trailed my fingers over the back of her hand, up her wrist, over her arm,
Deliberately caressing, making love to her skin with my fingertips.
“You are so beautiful, so beautiful,” I half-crooned in my best sexy, adoring voice,
My soft, silky, sliding up and down the scales with love for you voice,
I leaned towards her, breathing in her scent, pretending to be intoxicated by it.
I let my breath go, praying it would tickle the hair at the nape of her neck,
Long, silky, straight hair I’d played with earlier in the evening
Driving in her car, on the way to the restaurant.
I felt no guilt now, wishing it was thicker, had more body, and was actually curly.

After a moment, I withdrew my hand, took another bite of my steak and eggs,
Drank a sip of coffee, and said, “Well? What do you think?”

“That was interesting,” she said, eating some more of her own food,
From the sound of her voice. “But it’s still not the same.”

“No, it’s better, I would think,” I said, feeling confident.

“No, it isn’t. There’s something in being able to gaze into someone else’s eyes,
Seeing their love for you, expressing your love for them, that you can’t replace
It goes beyond words, beyond anything I can describe to you.
Oh, I wish I could explain it better! You’re missing so much!”

“I don’t think so,” I told her, my pity for her mounting.
“Didn’t you feel anything as I was touching you? Didn’t you notice
The way I was making love to you with my voice, and with the touch of my hand?
Forgive me, but it seems to me like you’re the one missing out on all the sensations
You could be experiencing, when you’re focused on only what your eyes can tell you.”

“I guess,” she said, sounding unconvinced. I could feel her withdrawing further from me,
And I marveled at the thought that such a limited creature could dare to feel sorry for me.
“I understand what you’re saying, but it’s still not the same to me.”

“Then you’re wasting your time and mine,” I told her. “Obviously, you need to be
With a sighted person, and I need to be with a person who is at least open to experiencing
My world and how it feels, and how it can open you up to things you didn’t know about.”

We moved on to other subjects of conversation. We walked to Barnes and Nobles,
And she read me book titles and excerpts from books of poetry by Shel Silverstein.
And at some point she brought me home. I was sure she was going to
Drop me off, but she came inside, lay beside me on the bed,
Our feet dangling off the side, while my roommate watched TV quietly,
Trying to give us privacy. She pulled out a jar of lip balm,
Let me smudge some on my mouth, and I thought detachedly about kissing her.
Then I dismissed the thought. Why in the hell would I want to kiss
Some poor sighted woman just because I felt sorry for her, when it was crystal clear
That I’d stopped wanting her the minute she opened her mouth and closed her mind
And insisted that eyeballing each other is the only relevant road to romantic bliss?

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