I’ve always had bright green eyes, vivid. Golden, my oma calls them. She says that she can’t recall anyone in our ancestry that had such green eyes. My clothes change them; if I’m wearing a moss green, they turn moss green. If I’m wearing yellow, they look like the tips of of corn in the afternoon sun. I love my eyes, the ease at which they change to fit my mood.
After I received the phone call the other morning, the one in which I was offered the job in Iraq, the man told me that I’d receive a package in the mail with further details. It came this morning, expedited delivery. I held the crisp envelope in my hands, feeling the shape of a box inside of it. The crinkling sound meant there were papers too. I unfolded the seal and pulled out the box- contact lenses. They were the pigmented type, a deep wooden brown.
The accompanying letter told me that if I accepted the job, I’d have to go through a moderate transformation. I read and reread the information. Skin darkeners. Contacts. Language and culture training. For your personal and professional safety. My stomach stirred, an adventurous excitement I hadn’t felt in ages. If I took this, I’d be a new person. Tabula rasa.
It’s still sinking in that I could be living halfway across the world in a few short months. It’s a large step towards where I want my career to go, but it’s also a large step away from my family and friends. From my dogs, from my boathouse, from my favorite running trails. From the local bar, where we sit on the deck in the summer. But also a large step away from stress, away from this rutted and failed relationship.
I called and asked for an extension on the decision, and they reluctantly are allowing me until Monday. Three days to decide on what will probably be one of the biggest decisions in my life.