A Perfect Eye

It began on a Saturday morning walk when she was five, right after her mom died. Like musical chairs, he suddenly stopped. Tell me what you see, Lily. A house with a fence. What else? A truck. What color? Red. They walked another two blocks. What did you see before? They retraced their steps. What do you see now? Paw prints in the grass, and a place where the dog had sat waiting for its master. Each time she saw more: a shiny tab from a soda can in the gutter; traces of pink on the sidewalk from hopscotch, scoured by rain. Next week he tested her again. What’s different from before? The dog has a chew-bone. What else? A new hopscotch game. Details, please... When she was ten, he took her to a museum.

Your eye’s like perfect pitch, he said. You’re lucky you were born with it.