Dark Eyes, Dark Heart - My Nameless 'Nice Enough'
So I sit, waiting for my ride, letting my mind wander on this glorious afternoon; the wind is cool in my face and the sun warm on my back, quick flurries of air hinting at the impending autumn. A man, no a boy? Younger than a man, to lanky and lean, yet taller, stronger, with more of an air of life than a boy; there’s always those we can't truly describe without evoking age old images in our hearts – emotions, prejudices, characters laid out so that one word, simple like man, will set off the character before I can describe him fully. So keep your mind blank when I say this young man, this lanky tall awkward young man, walks past me as I sit. On the cold stone steps I lurk, I prey on the faces of the innocent passerbys; and on this glorious day, he walked past. Everything about him was dark: his dark hair, shadowed with a dark hat, wrapped firmly in his dark coat, and his dark green eyes, like a twilight forest, downcast and mischievous on good days and sullen and forlorn on the common lesser days – yes, he was dark indeed. The forest-green eyes, I couldn’t see them; but if he was my character, in my novel, they would be green. Yes, what a great opening line that would make; perhaps, “His dark green eyes and his dark black heart…”.
But no, not black-hearted, grey, tinted with sadness and remorse, but hopeful and kind nonetheless. Yes, if he was my character, my creation of pen and ink and paper, what would he be called? What name could possibly sum up this incomprehensibly complex creature dubbed ‘young man’ and who only flitted through life in the shadows of imagination? No one could place him, but to everyone he was a familiar face. He was certainly ‘nice enough’ if inquired about, but not ‘nice enough’ to converse with, to learn ones story, to hold dear to ones heart. He was a quiet person, running through his daily routines to the point in which they were indistinguishable from all the other hellish, monotonous days of the year. He was numb; he was seen, but never noticed, heard, but never listened to, and liked, but never loved. In his dark coat and his dark eyes and his quiet person and his tap tap taping pace that was so maddeningly normal. That is who he is – what he is: normal. Average. Quiet, smart, clever even, but oh so horribly normal that most of this entire human race would allow him to be part of the background, cursed for eternity into oblivious nothing. These ungrateful distrusting creatures that take the normal for granted, unappreciative of all they do. They aren’t making headlines, ruining the lives of others or ruining their own lives. They are normal. He is normal.
But he is just so not. He is just so not normal; not in any sense of the word. He has thoughts like no one else on the planet – no one’s are the same. He is an individual, has a brother, older, moved away, and a sister, younger, in fifth or sixth grade maybe. And his dad is gone, but his mom works to keep everyone in school. And he walks everyday from his classes to take his sister home, then off to the same hellish monotonous job of everyday life, to work, because he loved his family. He knew he loved them, but he can't remember what it felt like; because all the monotony has driven his soul from him – driven his life away, so that all he knows is that he works because he loved them, back when he was alive. Is that who you are young man? Does this life suit you? Does it please you? Is that what you are? You long forgotten ‘nice enough’ who works through life because of a long ago song you’ve forgotten how to sing?
And all these thoughts go through so fast, because now he’s at the end of the road. But wait, there’s someone waiting for you! I see them, but she’s not your mom, not your sister. She leans up on tippy toes to give you a kiss, right on the mouth. And I can see you smile through the afternoon haze, and she smiles back. Your hands clasp in a firm hold and your eyes are no longer downcast; green like the day dying in a lonely forest no longer suits you. Now they’re blue; blue like mid-day sky, strong and caring, hopeful and loving. I was wrong. My character isn’t alone, and he’s not at all dark. Because as you shirk your jacket, holding it over one arm, there’s a white shirt beneath. And under my invented grey disappearing monotonous heart, well underneath its blue, like your eyes, like her eyes. Like the new day, breaking up the storm. I was wrong about my nameless ‘nice enough’, and I don’t think I could be more pleased.