I remember a conversation with my brother. I told him about how beautiful I found his face, and how the pattern on the couch brought out his eyes. I explained how each freckle on his nose was an entire world to me. I told him I couldn't work anymore.
I used to be a lawyer, you see. But a lawyer deals in right and wrong. When the world is full of so much beauty how can you say that anything is right or wrong? I don't deal in morality anymore. I only deal in beauty. When I explained this to him, my brother became afraid. He wanted to know what I was going to do if I wasn't going to work anymore. I told him I didn't care, that it didn't matter. Nothing mattered but the loveliness of the world. He made me promise to see a doctor.
And I did, because I love my brother. I saw a lot of doctors. I saw a lot of doctors because they couldn't agree on what to do with me. Some, like my brother, said that I had problems; they said that I was a schizophrenic. Others understood. They said that I was philosophical, sensitive, perhaps troubled, but not a case for medication. The ones who understood were mostly women. But eventually their gentle voices were lost, and I was written a prescription for Thorazine. They told me I didn't have to work and the government started to send me cheques.
But it was all just a terrible misunderstanding. I couldn't stand life on Thorazine; if you could call such an existence life at all. I couldn't do anything, nor did I want to do anything. The world became a slow, drab place. My colors ran to grey; my liveliness leaked through my fingers and left me an empty shell. So I stopped taking it. It was then that I realized my mission.
It started small; a mere restlessness in my arms and legs. I couldn't sit still. I would get up and pace around the room, snapping my fingers. Eventually it drove me from the house, into my car. I would drive all day long, taking in the beauty that was all around me. It was as I absorbed the lusciousness of my surroundings that the shape of my mission began to make itself apparent. The desire to experience the ultimate moment of gorgeousness took hold of me. Instead of driving aimlessly I began to drive with purpose. I got a map of my city, and began to search it systematically, driving very slowly up and down every street in order, all day and all night, looking for whatever it was that I had to find.
I saw many incredible things driving through my city: the fading stains on the walls of the buildings, trees and graffiti, cracks in the sidewalk. Most of all the people passing by. Their faces were all different, all incredible; they enthralled me. The smooth movement of their graceful limbs as they walked past my slowly crawling car was a heartbreak and a joy.
I remember a day no different from any other day. I was in my car once again; searching, watching. The cityscape slid past my windows, and when I leaned over I saw myself reflected in the passenger's side, the sunshine bouncing off of me to create a yellowed, distorted double.
As I drove past a small park, a chubby little boy caught my attention. He was about four or five, and his short legs could not move fast enough to keep up with his older companions. His straight white-blonde hair was falling in his eyes, and he could not see the tree root sticking up through the sidewalk pavement.
He fell, and I stopped the car to watch. His bright blue eyes became very wide for just a moment before he squeezed them shut. The first, fat tear slid down his rosy cheek, and it was quickly followed by another, then another. It was so powerful; I could have sworn that I felt the warm wetness of them myself, as though they fell from my own eyes. His sweet cupids bow mouth pulled itself into a grimace, revealing the gap of a recently lost tooth. When he started to howl his friends finally noticed his predicament, and turned around. Such amazing emotion was present in that cry. They rushed to his side, and an older boy of similar face and coloring, his brother, pulled him to his feet. As he stood I could see the place where the soft skin of his pudgy knee had been shredded. The gorgeous red blood was running down his dirty calves and staining his white socks.
His pain, his expression, his humanity, his very aliveness was astounding to me. I realized that there was a grin splitting my face from ear to ear, and the boys had stopped to watch me warily. I waved at them.
This moment was beautiful in its emotion and tragic in its humanity, but it wasn't what I was looking for, so I put my foot on the gas and slowly drove on.
I know some people think I'm crazy. The doctors who put me on the Thorazine. They think I'm crazy. But I know I'm not. I think they're the ones who are crazy. You'd have to be, to miss the incredible beauty the world has to offer. It's everywhere, all around you, not just in the dew on the roses, or the twinkling eye of a kitten. Of course it's there too, but it's in everything if you just look. It's in that pile of twisted metal by the side of the road, and the broken body of a bird that fell from its nest. It's freckled across the nose of my brother. It's dripping thickly from everything, waiting to be found. Everyday is a blessing; every second is a miracle. But only for those who can see it. Are you one of the lucky ones? Can you see it? If you can, don't look away. Seek it out; hold each moment close to your heart. Don't let them tell you it isn't there. Don't let them tell you you're crazy.