If eye color were the determining factor in all the aspects of a person I would probably be an arch-villain who could yuck it up with Mumm-Ra, Magneto and Sauron.

My eyes are black as the dead of space. People have stared into my visual cortex receptacles with slack-jawed amazement, uttering such insightful commentary as, "They're really black!".

Back in my pre-high school daze teachers would occasionally drill students for various information, including eye color. When I would routinely respond "black" the teacher would politely inform me that "They're just dark brown, dear."

I'm sorry, but no. My mother tells me when I was born my eyes were grey. There also are some scant few memories, from ages past, where, if I were to stare at a mirror, halogen lamp a-blazing, I may have been able to spot a faint glimmer of extremely dark brown. Those days are past. My eyes are deep portals into a bottomless void now.

Both my parents have brown eyes. I have met members of both sides of the family, and I have encountered no one with black eyes. More confusing, my parents are polar ethnic opposites. I can only assume the gene for black eyes is either widespread and extremely recessive, or, that this gene is unique to me, perhaps a mutation which occurs once and awhile when enough brown eye genes get together and party like it's 1984.

I rather like having black eyes. Not only do they lend themselves to super-villainy, they are also the only particularly interesting aspect of my physical appearance. Being an ethnic mutt, I have wound up with a truly generic face. My face would look perfectly normal in Iran, India, Africa, Italy, Mexico, Israel, you name it, I could probably fake being it.

I am still, however, perplexed, as to why teachers and some responsible adults still tell me my eyes are brown, when all evidence points to the contrary. Perhaps black eyes are an ancient taboo. I may never know.

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