My room is a dark, dark blue. When I first came home from the hospital, four weeks ago, it had been a brilliant, spotless white, and I had cried. White is light. White is immaculate. And in my new, developing vision, light is fear. It's a terrible thing to have a room that you know so well and that you love so much appear so different from your imagination that you cannot recognize it with your senses. I am fascinated, and yet terrified, of light colors. They are so far away from the familiar safety of darkness. Before the operation, before my new eyes, I have never gotten dizzy. But now my vision will go out of balance and the room will spin and suddenly I will find that I can't stand. I asked for blue, and they painted my room blue. Blue is a deep, rich color, much closer to darkness, and it comforts me.
I know my colors; most of them--and yet I cannot make sense of the way that they are named. I have learned that the dark leather of the sofa is red, and the gleaming, brilliant fire engine that wails down my street is red, the watery insides of the tomato; the dark peals of blood that the doctors draw from my skin--these are red too. And yet they are not at all the same. The night sky, which is black, and water, which has no color at all--I am told that both of these are blue.
That was four weeks ago. Every week the visiting nurse, Carla, comes over to test my eyes. Each day they are getting stronger and I can sense my vision clearing. The burning pain of the operation has receded. "Soon," Carla tells me, "You won't feel it at all. You'll be completely normal."