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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The scars around my eyes (pt 1)

pt 1<<<you are here | pt 2 | pt 3 | home | stories from my past

One of the true miracles in this world is how many kids, boys in particular, go right through life with two working eyes.

  Without the full complement of eyes, you don’t have true stereoscopic vision, you can’t perceive depth accurately, and you have to make quite a few adjustments, especially if you had two functioning eyes in the first place and were in the habit of using them in perfect synchronicity as a pair – as natural selection has decreed.

  That was, before you ran into a rose bush or barbed wire fence, or lost one of them in a heap of ways boys tend to be good at discovering without the slightest intention of doing so. These may involve air rifles or fireworks or shangeyes (slingshots).... there’s really no limit to the inventive ways boys try to divest themselves of one or more of their eyes.

  It is my great fortune in life to be able to look at this screen with one spare eye. That is to say, I still have them both, but it wasn’t for the want of trying to dispense with at least one of them as surplus to requirements at various times in my life.

  Let me count the ways. Four major ones at least is my rough count, and they took place during adventures where I could have got rid of one eye or the other without much difficulty; and many minor ones where nature stepped in by dint of the ‘involuntary response’ principle. You save your eye by averting it a millisecond before you even know you are about to have it wrecked in its socket by one means or another.

  You know what I mean.

  The first of these four I have already mentioned on this blog, together with the amusing consequence, but just to recap the incident itself, the policeman’s son threw a rock at me when, I’m pretty sure I recall now, I laughed at him for having a girl’s name.

  Well he did. He was Robin Sugars and to the ear, if not the eye, that was a girly name. I mean, go down the list right now of AFL OR NRL football players in every team – how many Robins do you see? Even in this supposedly gender neutral age, not a lot of them, are there? Nor Evelyns, or Vivians, or Karols. Even Alex is a bit suss, you can’t deny it.

  I rest my case. But, this statistical analysis would have meant nothing to Robin Sugars. In fury, he determined to smote mine eye that failed to distinguish a ‘y’ from an ‘i’, and attempted a biblical retaliation in taking my eye for his lost ‘i’, if you get my meaning.

  I can’t really blame you if you don’t. Not everyone is an Old Testament scholar, and my puns there were a bit ambitious, I admit.

  The stone, a commendable sized gooley, struck full force under my right eye, with the consequences I have related before. Luckily, he had picked up and hurled what was probably the roundest stone in the gravel by the side of the road, so the result was nothing more than an impressive abrasion, a large bruise under the eye and a black eye socket that was the admiration of my mates for as long as it lasted.

A Clockwork Me
  Once it got to that pale-greenie colour after a week or two, it looked a bit girlie and was no longer the subject of envy. Anything vaguely effeminate was the kiss – nay, kick – of death. We were tough and we were rough, and something that looked like what I would later understand to be called eyeshadow was off the manly agenda. A Clockwork Orange was still a very long way away.... I was glad the greenish tinge disappeared quickly when it got to that stage. The scar, a faint one, remains.

  Strike One.

  Strike Two was much more dramatic. I should really save it for last, but then the chronology would be out, and somehow I need to remember these assaults on my eye in order. It involved a train, a railway line (not surprisingly) and someone in a hurry. I’ll tell you about that next time, but I can feel, even now, the almost unbearable tension this has created in you.

  It’s OK. Remember, I still have both eyes. Don’t fret now. Next time I will reveal all. 
pt 1<<<you are here | pt 2 | pt 3 | home | stories from my past

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.


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