This Is What I’ve Been Missing ?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Burn.
Mary and I had agreed that we’d both seen the souls of men in our lives, but we were wrong. Maybe we’d felt their souls. Or maybe we’d just wanted to believe they had really opened up at some point and let us see inside to their core to something so deep and unknown and enticing. Seeing some- one’s soul was probably more metaphorical than anything else.
But I never knew you could physically see the soul of someone else. Until now.
At a larger-than-usual Gathering at my house, my guests have split into three groups after dinner. Some are hanging out in the office, listening to Type O-Negative and another Goth band I like. Some are outside, gazing at the Full Moon, though it’s far too hot for a bonfire. Mary and Ymaldowyn have finally stopped messing with the dinner dishes in the kitchen (typical moms that they are!) and are hanging out in the family room with me under the pyramid. We’re discussing men who have touched us deeply in a spiritual and emotional sense, and I’m mostly quiet as I sit and play with my dowsing rods. Truth be told, I’m feeling a little left out, a little untouched.
My male friends at work think we women gather to talk about the size of men’s packages but this is far less mundane. I guess we’re biologically damned to discuss our emotional interests moreso than the physical ones. In this case, they intersect.
Mary is both troubled and curious by something that happened in a lovemaking session with her new husband. They’ve seen a startling flash of light in each other’s eyes, a narrowing slit of light from the pupils. Almost like snake eyes and then gone.
“Oh, yeah,” Ymaldowyn chimes in. “That was your souls.”
Mary jerks her head up. “Really.”
Me, I stop playing with my dowsing rods as Mary explains in detail what she saw in her lover’s eyes. But I say nothing. My mind is racing. I’m remembering something I’ve tried to ignore because, like Mary, I didn’t understand it.
“You know how they say that the eyes are the window to your soul?” Ymaldowyn asks Mary. “Well, they are. You’ve just shown each other your souls.”
Mary nods, her jaw open. She’s taking in every word, and I can see her mind churning and working through the idea of it.
Ymaldowyn, who considers herself something of a prude when it comes to sex and intimate moments, turns to me for help. “You know what I mean, Lorna.” Then, in response to my silence, “Lorna? You’ve seen it, too, right?”
I can’t say anything. I know there have been times when my daughters have commented on my eyes suddenly changing, becoming an intense and incredible blue. An unnatural color, I’ve been told. With a strange flash in them. Not just a sparkle, but a flash like lightning. Always in moments of spiritual passion or during an emotionally intense memory I don’t share with them. I’ve had lovers comment on seeing it in my eyes, too, but I’ve never seen it in anyone else. But…but this….
“Lorna!” Ymaldowyn’s full attention is on me. “Didn’t you ever see this with your ex? Even once in two decades?”
I shake my head. He never opened his soul enough for me to peek inside.
“What about some boyfriend in college? Maybe a lover who was really special?”
Again, I shake my head. It’s a connection that’s failed me, one I innately knew existed but never experienced with a lover, in or out of bed.
By now, it’s Ymaldowyn who’s shaking her head. “You mean to tell me you’ve never seen the eyes flash like that? Ever? Not with any of the men you’ve loved? Not even in the most passionate moments?”
She turns to Mary. “And this is the first time you’ve seen it?”
Mary nods, still trying to absorb it all. Her husband is
not the first long-term relationship in her life or even the first passionate one.
“I don’t believe this,” Ymaldowyn murmurs. “I mean, you are both very sensual women and neither of you have seen this before.”
“No.” Then I bite my lip and confess I’ve seen some- thing that might be what she means. But it wasn’t with a lover and I haven’t seen the man since. Yet it disturbed me enough that I’ll never forget what I saw. I just was not sure of what I was seeing, and it was too easy to find excuses for what it was and imagine I hadn’t really seen it. Maybe a trick of light in the late afternoon. Maybe something I was drinking. Maybe I was simply too tired or needed my eyes checked. It was too freaky- weird for me to accept as ordinary, exactly as Mary was doing now in bringing up the subject of flashing eyes to Ymaldowyn and me.
It happened almost two months ago, at a party over Memorial Day weekend. I sat on the patio with a couple of friends and several strangers and tried not to spill a wine spritzer on my no-fluffy-bunnies T-shirt. I’d been nursing my cup for at least an hour and didn’t consider myself under the influence of alcohol, but I was definitely relaxed and happy. I’d propped my bare feet up on another chair and leaned back to talk with Jeaneen, who was sitting closest to me.
One of the men at the party took a quick dip in the pool and then joined us on the patio, water still dripping from his hair. He didn’t sit near us. He chose a spot 20 feet away and leaned against the wall, a little tired, a little sad, a little wistful. We said hello, and as he sat there, he turned just his head to look at us. Jeaneen was speaking, but he wasn’t looking directly at her but beyond her. His gaze caught mine, just for a split second, as we acknowledged each other.
In that split second, his eyes morphed, his pupils dilating and lengthening into slits of light against a background of the oddest aqua/emerald-green. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, like something alien or maybe even reptilian. The color was so intense that it seemed I was looking at a black and white picture with spots of color painting only his eyes.
It unnerved me. Unable to bear the brightness of the aqua/emerald-green, I glanced away. Someone else joined us on the patio and when I looked up again, his eyes had returned to their normal color.
I’m still not sure of what I saw, though Ymaldowyn and Mary’s experiences hint to me that it’s an experience that’s not completely unheard of. Maybe it was his soul he was showing me. Maybe he trusted me enough to let me see it.
But at the time, I had the sense of Deity staring back at me through his eyes.