Toni Morrison – The Bluest Bluest Eyes

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LOOKLOOKHERECOMESAFRIENDTHEFRIENDWILLPLAY
WITHJANETHEYWILLPLAYAGOODGAMEPLAYJANEPLA

How many times a minute are you going to look inside that old thing?
I didn't look in a long time
You did too
So what? I can look if I want to
I didn't say you couldn't
I just don't know why you have to look every minute. They aren't going anywhere
I know it. I just like to look
You scared they might go away?
Of course not. How can they go away?
The others went away
They didn't go away. They changed. Go away. Change. What's the
Difference?
A lot
Mr. Soaphead said they would last forever
Forever and ever Amen?
Yes, if you want to know. You don't have to be so smarty when you talk to me
I'm not being smarty
You started it
I'd just like to do something else besides watch you stare in that mirror
You're just jealous
I am not
You are
You wish you had them
Ha. What would I look like with blue eyes?
Nothing much
If you're going to keep this up, I may as well go on off by myself
No. Don't go
What you want to do?
We could go outside and play, I guess
But it's too hot
You can take your old mirror. Put it in your coat pocket, and you can look at yourself up and down the street
Boy! I never would have thought you'd be so jealous
Oh, come on!
You are
Are what?
Jealous
O.K. So I'm jealous
See. I told you
No. I told you
Are they really nice?
Yes. Very nice
Just "very nice"?
Really, truly, very nice
Really, truly, bluely nice?
Oh, God. You are crazy
I am not!
I didn't mean it that way
Well, what did you mean?
Come on. It's too hot in here
Wait a minute. I can't find my shoes
Here they are
Oh. Thank you
Got your mirror?
Yes Dearie....
Well, let's go then.... Ow!
What's the matter?
The sun is too bright. It hurts my eyes
Not mine. I don't even blink. Look. I can look right at the sun
Don't do that
Why not? It doesn't hurt. I don't even have to blink
Well, blink anyway. You make me feel funny, staring at the sun like that. Feel funny how?
I don't know
Yes, you do. Feel funny how?
I told you, I don't know
Why don't you look at me when you say that?
You're looking drop-eyed like Mrs. Breedlove
Mrs. Breedlove look drop-eyed at you?
Yes. Now she does. Ever since I got my blue eyes, she look away from me all of the time. Do you suppose she's jealous too?
Could be. They are pretty, you know
I know. He really did a good job. Everybody's jealous. Every time I look at somebody, they look off. Is that why nobody has told you how pretty they are?
Sure it is. Can you imagine? Something like that happening to a person, and nobody but nobody saying anything about it? They all try to pretend they don't see them. Isn't that funny? ... I said isn't that funny?
Yes
You are the only one who tells me how pretty they are. Yes. You are a real friend. I'm sorry about picking on you before. I mean, saying you were jealous and all
That's all right
No. Really. You are my very best friend. Why didn't I know you before?
You didn't need me before
Didn't need you? I mean ... you were so unhappy before. I guess you didn't notice me before
I guess you're right. And I was so lonely for friends. And you were right here. Right before my eyes
No, honey. Right after your eyes

What?
What does Maureen think about your eyes?
She doesn't say anything about them. Has she said anything to you about them?
No. Nothing
Do you like Maureen?
Oh. She's all right. For a half-white girl, that is
I know what you mean. But would you like to be her friend? I mean, would you like to go around with her or anything?
No
Me neither
But she sure is popular
Who wants to be popular?
Not me
Me neither
But you couldn't be popular anyway. You don't even go to school. You don't either
I know. But I used to
What did you stop for?
They made me
Who made you?
I don't know
After that first day at school when I had my blue eyes. Well, the next day they had Mrs. Breedlove come out. Now I don't go anymore. But I don't care
You don't?
No, I don't. They're just prejudiced, that's all. Yes they sure are prejudiced. Just because I got blue eyes, bluer than theirs, they're prejudiced.
That's right. They are bluer aren't they?
Oh, yes. Much bluer
Bluer than Joanna's?
Much bluer than Joanna's
And bluer than Michelena's?
Much bluer than Michelena's
I thought so. Did Michelena say anything to you about my eyes?
No. Nothing
Did you say anything to her?
No
How come?
How come what?
How come you don't talk to anybody?
I talk to you
Besides me
I don't like anybody besides you
Where do you live?
I told you once
What is your mother's name?
Why are you so busy meddling me?
I just wondered. You don't talk to anybody. You don't go to school. And nobody talks to you
How do you know nobody talks to me?
They don't. When you're in the house with me even Mrs. Breedlove doesn't say anything to you. Ever. Sometimes I wonder if she even sees you
Why wouldn't she see me?
I don't know. She almost walks right over you. Maybe she doesn't feel too good since Cholly's gone
Oh, yes. You must be right. She probably misses him
I don't know why she would. All he did was get drunk and beat her up
Well, you know how grown-ups are
Yes. No. How are they?
Well, she probably loved him anyway
HIM?
Sure. Why not? Anyway, if she didn't love him, she sure let him do it to her a lot
That's nothing
How do you know?
I saw them all the time. She didn't like it
Then why'd she let him do it to her?
Because he made her
How could somebody make you do something like that?
Easy
Oh, yeah? How easy?
They just make you, that's all
I guess you're right. And Cholly could make anybody do anything
He could not
He made you, didn't he?
Shut up!
I was only teasing
Shut up!
O.K. O.K
He just tried, see? He didn't do anything. You hear me?
I'm shutting up
You'd better. I don't like that kind of talk
I said I'm shutting up
You always talk so dirty. Who told you about that, anyway?
I forget. Sammy? No. You did
I did not. You did
You said he tried to do it to you when you were sleeping on the couch
See there! You don't even know what you're talking about. It was when I was washing dishes. Oh, yes. Dishes. By myself. In the kitchen
Well, I'm glad you didn't let him
Yes
Did you?
Did I what?
Let him
Now who's crazy?
I am, I guess
You sure are
Still...
Well. Go ahead. Still what?
I wonder what it Would be like
Horrible
Really?
Yes. Horrible
Then why didn't you tell Mrs. Breedlove?
I did tell her!
I don't mean about the first time. I mean about the second time, when you were sleeping on the couch
I wasn't sleeping! I was reading!
You don't have to shout
You don't understand anything, do you? She didn't even believe me when I told her
So that's why you didn't tell her about the second time?
She wouldn't have believed me then either
You're right. No use telling her when she wouldn't believe you
That's what I'm trying to get through your thick head
O.K. I understand now. Just about
What do you mean, just about?
You sure are mean today
You keep on saying mean and sneaky things. I thought you were my friend
I am. I am
Then leave me alone about Cholly
OK
There's nothing more to say about him, anyway
He's gone, anyway
Yes. Good riddance
Yes. Good riddance
And Sammy's gone too
And Sammy's gone too
So there's no use talking about it. I mean them
No. No use at all
It's all over now
Yes
And you don't have to be afraid of Cholly coming at you anymore
No
That was horrible, wasn't it?
Yes
The second time too?
Yes
Really? The second time too?
Leave me alone! You better leave me alone
Can't you take a joke? I was only funning
I don't like to talk about dirty things
Me neither. Let's talk about something else
What? What will we talk about?
Why, your eyes
Oh, yes. My eyes. My blue eyes. Let me look again
See how pretty they are
Yes. They get prettier each time I look at them
They are the prettiest I've ever seen
Really?
Oh, yes
Prettier than the sky?
Oh, yes. Much prettier than the sky
Prettier than Alice-and-Jerry Storybook eyes?
Oh yes. Much prettier than Alice-and-Jerry Storybook eyes
And prettier than Joanna's?
Oh, yes. And bluer too
Bluer than Michelena's?
Yes
Are you sure?
Of course I'm sure
You don't sound sure....
Well, I am sure. Unless....
Unless what?
Oh, nothing. I was just thinking about a lady I saw yesterday. Her eyes sure were blue. But no. Not bluer than yours
Are you sure?
Yes. I remember them now. Yours are bluer
I'm glad
Me too. I'd hate to think
That there was anybody around with bluer eyes than yours. I'm sure there isn't. Not around here, anyway
But you don't know, do you? You haven't seen everybody, have you?
No. I haven't. So there could be, couldn't there?
Not hardly
But maybe. Maybe. You said "around here." Nobody "around here" probably has bluer eyes. What about someplace else? Even if my eyes are bluer than Joanna's and bluer than Michelena's and bluer than that lady's you saw, suppose there is somebody way off somewhere with bluer eyes than mine?
Don't be silly
There could be. Couldn't there?
Not hardly
But suppose. Suppose a long way off. In Cincinnati say, there is somebody whose eyes are bluer than mine? Suppose yhere are two people with bluer eyes?
So what? You asked for blue eyes. You got blue eyes. He should have made them bluer
Who? Mr Soaphead
Did you say what color blue you wanted them?
No. I forgot
Oh. Well
Look. Look over there. At that girl. Look at her eyes. Are they bluer than mine?
No, I don't think so
Did you look real good?
Yes
Here comes someone
Look at his. See if they're bluer
You're being silly. I'm not going to look at everybody's eyes
You have to
No I don't
Please. If there is somebody with bluer eyes than mine, then maybe there is somebody with the bluest eyes. The bluest eyes in the whole world
That's just too bad
Isn't it? Please help me look
No
But suppose my eyes aren't blue enough?
Blue enough for what?
Blue enough for ... I don't know. Blue enough for something.
Blue enough ... for you!
I'm not going to play with you anymore

Oh. Don't leave me
Yes. I am
Why? Are you mad at me?
Yes
Because my eyes aren't blue enough? Because I don't have the bluest eyes?
No. Because you're acting silly
Don't go. Don't leave me
Will you come back if I get them?
Get what?
The bluest eyes. Will you come back then?
Of course I will. I'm just going away for a little while
You promise?
Sure. I'll be back. Right before your very eyes

So it was
A little black girl yearns for the blue eyes of a little white girl, and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of fulfillment
We saw her sometimes. Frieda and I--after the baby came too soon and died. After the gossip and the slow wagging of heads. She was so sad to see grown people looked away; children, those who were not frightened by her, laughed outright
The damage done was total. She spent her days, her tendril, sap green days, walking up and down, up and down, her head jerking to the beat of a drummer so distant only she could hear. Elbows bent, hands on shoulders, she flailed her arms like a bird in an eternal, grotesquely futile effort to fly. Beating the air, a winged but grounded bird, intent on the blue void it could not reach--could not even see-- but which filled the valleys of the mind
We tried to see her without looking at her, and never, never went near. Not because she was absurd, or repulsive, or because we were frightened, but because we had failed her. Our flowers never grew. I was convinced that Frieda was right, that I had planted them too deeply. How could I have been so sloven? So we avoided Pecola Breedlove--forever

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