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“I am seeing in light,” Giovanni told me unexpectedly, like a confession.


I looked at him, confused.


“I always have, from when I am small.” The back of his hand rhythmically rubbed against my palm, then retook its path with light, tickling fingers as I leaned against his shoulders, our bare feet entwined.  “Where you are seeing the sea,” he said, waving his hand to take in the watery expanse, “I am seeing light on the sea, and its absence in its shadows.”


I tilted my head, trying to imagine.


“Light-seeing has made me always on the outside,” Giovanni said softly, “because I am not seeing the world like other people. Light she is always glinting at me, and some days I am having lots of trouble thinking because of her movements.”


“What about cloudy days?” I asked, trying to understand more.


“There is always light, even without sun, but too many cloudy days, and I am getting sad after a while.”


“What about night?”


“I am reading shadows like I am reading sun. People too,” he said, glancing at me sideways with a little smile. “They are all dark and light too. Before they’re even talking, it is like I am seeing their good and bad. I am very good at judging people.”


“I see in smells,” I admitted. “I mean, not really see, but sometimes I feel like I am aware of smells in the same way you are of light.”


Giovanni’s smile broke wide. “What am I smelling like?”


“Good, peppery, like a spice shop,” I said without hesitation and then blushed.


Merriment danced in his eyes. “And if I get closer? Is my smell changing?” he asked, feathering his lips across my mouth.

[Excerpt Landslide, Pages 175-176]

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