The Boy Who Couldn’t See Color


The morning of the concert, Pierre’s maman gently shook him awake. “It’s time to get dressed, mon chèr. What color blouse am I wearing?”

Pierre squinted. “The same color you were wearing yesterday. The same color as your hair. The same color as the rug. Just a little darker than your skin.”

His maman sighed, but no tears came today. She was accustomed to Pierre’s deficiency, and only wished he could behold the delicate pale pink of her lacy blouse and distinguish it from the wheat blond of her hair. It must be so sad, she thought as she left the bedroom, to live in a world without colors.

That afternoon at the concert, Pierre whispered in his maman’s ear, “Do you see the music?”

“What are you talking about, mon cher?” His disease must be worsening.

“You mean you can’t see the beautiful patterns that swirl and change like a kaleidoscope as the pianist plays slower or faster or deeper or higher?”

Maman shook her head. “Don’t speak such ridiculous ideas, Pierre. People will think you’re crazy.”

Maman’s illness must be increasing, Pierre thought as the pattern morphed from a curlicued snowflake to a circle filled with triangles. How sad that she has to see the world blind to music.

Photograph of Paris: “Conciergerie and Pont Notre-Dame, Paris 1981” by Author: Todor AtanassovCopyright holder: Vassia Atanassova – Spiritia – Family archive, scanned. Licensed under Copyrighted free use via Wikimedia Commons –,_Paris_1981.jpg#/media/File:Conciergerie_and_Pont_Notre-Dame,_Paris_1981.jpg


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