My late uncle (May God have mercy) used to tell me that you can read a person’s intire life record just by looking at them. That was then, when innocence and curiosity took over our emotions, just before arrogance and teen ignorance prevailed and way before those times that we started looking at the words of the dead as gold!
The elderly was sitting in the crowded restaurant in that table that is always neglected by waiters, he paid no attention to his surroundings except his small falafel sandwich that was accompanied by a glass of tap water. The eyes were focused solely on his own pleasure, knowing very well that he was not noticed because of his old age, social status and ethnicity… the eyes knew that everyone in the restaurant were admiring the two girls at the cashier with the tight yoga pants,but in the middle of all this ramble, the eyes made their own fortress of solitude… they knew that the this meal they are consuming will taste better than anything you and I will ever have.
Airports always have amazing stories to tell… she was a lady in her late 20’s and of an Indian decent. Standing in line at customs, her eyes told of a non-optional ageing process, probably because of the heavy burden she had back home that was too old for her age to handle. The eyes expressed both fear of the unknown and eagerness to earn and help those back home waiting patiently for some money just to make ends meet. The eyes were putting their youth up for auction exepmling the greatest testimony of sacrifice that could ever be told. But the eyes kept constantly looking over their shoulders… for these were unfamiliar terrains for them.
Now, despise is a very easy thing to spot in the eyes… no experience necessary there what so ever…
She came from a certain ethnic group that was imprinted in all our minds as “superior”, the eyes told a story of both arrogance and ignorance, looking at her customers with a great deal of disgust, almost saying: “you should be the one serving me, not the other way around!”, not realizing that those eyes she served probably suffered through countless scriptures and through late nights to get to such a level, yet, they were still humbled by the blessings that they had.
I often stare hard and gaze at people’s eyes, and though I know for a fact it’s very rude, I still can’t resist the desire to wander in them. But as I look back, I realize that these might not be the accurate accounts, and that the eyes often deceive to the untrained eye, after all, I’m not as old as my uncle and it’s highly doubtful that I will be as wise as him.
But maybe these were the projections of my own eyes, their own desires or hopes for people I know nothing about, since my eyes couldn’t tell a story of their own, they had to fantasize stories about others…
Have we been deceived?
Or is it really true that… the eyes have stories?
Photo: © Raheel Syed