It turned out yellow was all around us and the irony had not escaped me. It did not get by Bando either but very little escaped the blind man. And it started like this—
“Tell me about yellow,” Bando asked me.
Sitting outside Chica’s Café in the warm October afternoon he looked toward my voice.
“Aaah yellow… that might be a tough one,” I said.
“Why should yellow be so difficult?”
Thinking about color I looked at the tilt of his head and the sunglasses covering his empty eye sockets. After a moment watching him I started seeing it. Yellow everywhere.
“The warmth of the sun on your face is yellow, Bando.”
“Is it now? Sunny yellow, eh?” Bando smiled and touched his cheek.
“The lemon squares Chica put on the table when we sat down are too.”
He felt the plate for one and brought it to his mouth.
“Hmmm, yellow is delicious!” Bando said.
“The daisies in the flower boxes are yellow.”
“I smell yellow every day, my friend!” Bando exclaimed.
“The fallen leaves of October are yellow.”
“I hear and feel them crunch under my feet, ha!”
“Oh, and have you ever sat here in the dark evening, Bando? The patio lanterns glow with yellow light.”
“I have always been in the dark, my friend. I cannot even imagine light,” he laughed again. “But it must be comforting for the sighted.”
“I apologize for my oversight,” I said, and we burst out laughing at my pun.
“But there are sad and sick yellows too, Bando.”
“You do not need to tell me of those. That is the nature of things, the yin and yang,” he said. “There is always sour near the sweet, my friend.”
His hands came up to his scarf and he unwrapped it and put it on the table.
“Take this and cover your eyes,” he said. “What do you see?”
“Nothing, it is dark.”
“What do you smell? What can you touch and feel?”
“Many things, of course.” I told him some of the examples that came to my senses.
“And you can imagine all kinds of things as well, right?”
“Can you imagine living in total blackness?”
I thought for a minute or two, trying to feel the darkness and said that, no I could not. I took off the scarf.
“Is it possible, my friend, that color, including black— is an illusion of the sighted?” He said. “Could it be that color only exists because the human eye is created to see it?”
I looked at him trying to comprehend his statement.
Bando felt the table for the plate of lemon squares and smiled.