The Blind Dog Cafe bustled with customers on Black Friday, because Pearl Street in Boulder was a scene for the holidays each year. The cafe was just a block away from the main strip, as it drew customers from the local neighborhoods. John and Edith* were no stranger to the cafe with this being their tenth year as a blind couple, living in a small apartment on Spruce Street. They walked to the cafe this cold crisp Black Friday evening, holding hands with their white canes in opposite hands.
"Do you remember when we first met?" asked Edith, searching with her cane for a safe passage.
"Of course I remembered, your voice was tender and I couldn't stop the tingles on my spines," said John.
"You sounded like Morgan Freeman. Then you told me your last name was Hesselbeck, so I had to talk to you some more," said Edith. "It was a voice of experience and comfort. It soothed me."
"A woman's voice carries her heart, and I can hear a bitch from a mile away," said John, his white cane bumped onto a tree on planted Earth.
"Bitches be bitchin. They're in a sound proof room in heaven, that's the truth, so Jesus won't have to put up with them**," said Edith. "If I wasn't blind I would still marry you."
"That's the sweetest thing you said today, Edith," said John. "You'd rather marry me than that Beast of a Prince in Beauty and the Beast? The man looked good in Braille."
"Of course, honey. He's fantasy, and you know he'd leave me if there was a Belle in the horizon," said Edith. "The fact is, I'm blind, and we are both soulmates."
"I wondered why we're the handicapped, when a lot of people are born without a heart. They're missing the most common gene in the world. Kindness," said John.
They approached the street light, and Edith's cane hit the light pole. She pressed the button and heard the beeps as John held her free hand tight as they were about to cross the street.
"You know how people helped us when we were little?" asked Edith. "I bet they never stopped helping."
"I think you're right," said John. "I think the more kindness there are inside a human being, the more love lives inside this world."
The crossing signal beeped as John and Edith walked together towards The Blind Dog. There was a barista at the counter as expected, and as usual, John and Edith ordered their favorite cups of treats.
"Ron, is that you?" asked John. Ron was always there on Friday nights, and The Blind Dog was his usual gig.
"Yes, sir," said Ron. "Edith, you want your tumeric ginger latte?"
"Now that's the sound of a man who paid attention," said Edith. "Yes, Ron, let me have a cup, please."
"John, what are you having?" asked Ron, punching the item on his cash register.
"Half calf Americano, please," said John. "Can you pour a two percent at three inches from the top?"
"Will do, sir," said Ron.
"Let's go to France tonight," said John.
"By the Eiffel Tower, and you proposed to me?" asked Edith.
"Then we hold hands in the corner and eat something sugary," said John, in a bit of a giggle.
"Peppermint, plenty of them. I can smell it. Christmas is a few weeks away," said Edith.
"We can cuddle and pretend no one is watching," said John.
"We won't care because we're blind," giggled Edith.
"We can sip on our treats and think of London," said John. "And talk about that time when the Braille nubs misspelled port into portly."
Edith laughed, and said, "I can pretend I'm a blonde. With blue eyes."
John laughed, and replied, "Then we can dress up. Me, in a chaplin hat, and you in a red chiffon dress."
"Our lives are more glamourous blind than with our eyes," said Edith.
"I think that's the miracle of being us," said John. "There is no handicap with imagination."
Edith took his hand and kissed it, as they waited in line for their treats at the cafe. Christmas was just a few weeks away, but John and Edith lived in a world where Christmas as well as romance was an everyday tradition. They lived in reality with the light of their hearts and minds, and through them they were never in the dark.
* - J.R.R. Tolkien and Edith Tolkien
** - Derived from God Help the Child by Toni Morrison.