“Before My Very Brown Eyes” by Zach Murphy

When I was a teenager, I got jade-colored contact lenses in an attempt to look more beautiful.

I always despised my brown eyes. I thought they were deeply unspectacular. Dull. Dark. Boring. Growing up, I never heard anyone say “Wow, look at those pretty brown eyes.” They aren’t the color of a vibrant sky or a vivid field of grass. They aren’t one of the colors that show up in a bright rainbow. They aren’t the color of the eyes of Hollywood stars that are usually on the front cover of magazines. 

But the jade-colored contact lenses never felt right with my soul. The brown shone through the umbrella of haze. I wore the jade-colored contact lenses for exactly three days, and then decided to trade them in for the clear contact lenses. As I placed the clear ones on, I stared into the mirror at my eyes and saw them in a new, spectacular light.

My brown eyes are the color of the earthy, Hawaiian soil of my birth land. The soil that yields vegetation and nourishment and life and wonder. My brown eyes are the colors of the tropical tree roots and the tropical tree branches that provide shelter and habitats to many magnificent creatures. My brown eyes are the color of the delicious chocolate that makes your taste buds smile. My brown eyes are the color of the highly-coveted coffee beans that make the world go ‘round.

Now, I see more clearer. Now, I am more beautiful. Now, I love my very brown eyes.


Zach Murphy is a Hawaii-born, multi-faceted writer who somehow ended up in the charming but often chilly land of St. Paul, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in Haute Dish, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, WINK, and the Wayne Literary Review. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly and loves cats and movies.


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