021

Look at the Halos

Our junior encyclopedia gave a distorted description of color-blindness. On the same day that I read that, I thought I smelled Mom cooking chicken soup for dinner; there was no soup that night, but we had fish. I tripped over a stray toy on my way to bed; I turned in with teary eyes and a stubbed toe.

The moral of the day was to lay no trust on your senses. If God had meant any more than that, it was too implicit for me.

A few days later, I learned the word “hallucinate.” The first thing I did with it was to annoy Dad at the dinner table.

“Dad! I think I’m hallucinat-ing.”

Dad nodded solemnly. “And what do you hallucinate?”

“Halos!”

“Halos?” Dad helped himself to more fish.

“The glowing ring things. Everyone has one. I can’t see mine, though, not even in a mirror.”

“So that means everyone has a bit of saintliness in them,” reasoned Dad. I wonder now if he ever had off days at the office – he was never in bad humor.

“Can you see Mom’s and Dad’s halos?” asked Mom, lowering her chopsticks.

“Nope,” I said, stealing some of Dad’s fish. “You two don’t have ’em.”

Mom and Dad exchanged the less-TV-time look and smiled resignedly. Mom took the initiative: “What about your sister?”

“Nope.” I stole more fish. “She doesn’t have one either.”

There was a wooden clatter as Sis threw her chopsticks down in exasperation. She was yelling about me watching too much Thomas the Tank Engine.

So I could see halos over anyone who was not related to me. The teacher, my classmates, strangers on the street…and they were all different. Most of them shimmered dully; others shone like halogen lamps (very few to that extent, though); and a few did not glow at all. Occasionally I saw ones that were encrusted with some awful dirty stuff; they were about as common as the brightest ones.

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