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Friday, January 30, 2009

One-Eyed Woman (Jan. 2009)

WARNING: If you are squeamish, do not read this piece.

Okay, you have been duly warned. Although for some, warnings are like catnip. The bigger the warning, the scarier the content, the more appealing it is.

I’m into writing about real experiences, so you won’t find any Cyclops-fantasy stories on my blog. The one-eyed woman is not an imaginary, mythical creature. She’s real. In fact, she’s the polar opposite of an intimidating, larger-than-life character. I met her in the bathroom of Vons grocery store. She was a shrunken woman of about 70, and like many her age, she was dressed in pastel clothing and had short, white hair. Very normal. Except for one thing.

As I exited my stall she was washing out her fake eyeball in the sink. I tried not to stare, as I didn’t want to make her feel self-conscious. I really tried not to stare because I was pretty horrified! I’d STRONGLY prefer not to see eyeballs out of their sockets, or sockets without their eyeballs, for that matter. Funny how in a split second the brain kicks in with survival instructions. My Instructions To Self screamed silently in my head and went like this: donotlookDONOTLOOKDONOTLOOK! The woman said there was some dust or sand in her eye and so she had to wash it out. She seemed very matter-of-fact about it all.

Hey, I have no problem with people’s having prosthetic anything. I think it’s great that there are ways for people to participate in life and not feel self-conscious or limited. But I don’t necessarily want to see eyeballs in sinks. I’m still having nightmares! Although this was last year, has time helped lessen my shock in seeing a round, white ball staring at me during its eyewash? I wish.

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