[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y mother had a blind aunt named Milena. She’s passed now. God rest her soul. Milena lived by herself, and could do almost anything on her own. She made coffee, paid bills, baked brownies, and even did her own shopping.
She had a guide dog named Whistler. But he and I weren’t friendly. He didn’t like to play.
He was all business.
Aunt Milena was old when I knew her. She carried a long folding cane when she and Whistler went to the grocery store. She’d grab one of the young supermarket employees to guide her around the aisles. Before she’d leave the store, she’d say something like, “Thanks for the help. Come by and visit me sometime.”
I never knew anyone to take her up on the offer.
Too bad, because Milena was a skilled conversationalist. Conversation was Milena’s favorite form of entertainment.
Once, I asked Aunt Milena what she dreamed about.
“Dream?” she said. “Oh, I dream about the same things you do, I suppose. About meeting people, touching things, smelling things.”
“What about seeing?” I asked. “Can you see in your dreams?”
She thought for a moment. “Well, I don’t really know. I’ve never seen before. My dreams appear to me the same as my life does.”
“Well, what’s that look like?”
“Oh, it’s lovely.” She tilted her head up toward the ceiling. “It looks like everything, pressed all together. Both dark and light. Tall and short, small and big, all at the same time.”
“It looks like the water and sky,” she said. “On a cloudless day.”
“But, how do you know what that looks like?”
“I don’t.” She smiled. “I’m just guessing.”