The Eyeless Wonder
I'm a handsome man, or so my mama keeps swearing while astutely avoiding eye contact with me. The avoidance makes me question her honesty; it's my eyes. Something so obvious I can't hide it. Bulbous is the word most frequently used. Born with lashes so pale it appears I have none, eyelids so retracted it looks like God plopped two veined eyeballs inside of two holes and put nothing there to hold them in, and the color: green puke with flecks of corn or newborn baby poop, depending on my mood. And to make matters worse, my last name is Eyeless.
An ironic twist from a comical God, eh?
Don't be disturbed that I think of myself in these terms. I've had thirty-two years now to study my eyes and their effect on my life. Kids from grade school to graduation used to say my mama gave birth to eyeballs with feet. I can still hear their hysterical laughter as they shouted, "It's the Eyeless wonder!" until I stared them down with my big eyeballs, unblinking.
By the third grade, I'd learned this trick that really scared the shit out of the little gangsters. I could roll my eyes so far back into my head that you could actually see the veins behind my eyes. No matter how many spankings I got for scaring kids, it remained my most effective weapon against teasing.
I've been accused of staring on more occasions than I care to admit, causing fights with guys thinking I was ogling their girls. My eyes have a mind of their own, it seems, always looking where I had no idea they were looking. One guy came up, sneering, "Get your big bug eyes off my girl, you freak!" to which I blinked rapidly for effect, and then replied, " I didn't realize my eyes had jumped out of their sockets and were molesting your girl, " at which he promptly socked me, making them swell even larger.
My eyes are the bane of my existence, and that is why I'm having the groundbreaking operation that will change them. Downsizing, I like to think of it. It's scheduled for 2:30 this afternoon, leaving me only one hour until my dream comes true.
Mama swears I will regret changing what God gave me, but I swear God wasn't thinking straight when He gave me these eyes. Don't get me wrong. I'm not an atheist. I wholeheartedly believe in God, but if you saw my eyes, you'd agree with me that He wasn't in a very good mood that day. Looking at myself in the mirror, I cringe at their size and intensity. I have the perpetual look of extreme shock, as if I were a cartoon character whose eyes popped clean out of his skull when he saw a good looking girl.
Good looking girls. What a concept! Soon, I will have my pick of good looking girls, once I'm downsized. The moment I knew I would eventually do something about my eyes came when I was sixteen years old, and it involved a girl-not a good looking girl, but a girl nonetheless. Her name was Beatrice Avery, and she was the one girl most guys in high school would not touch if their lives depended on it. Since most guys in high school would touch anything labeled "girl", this says a lot about Beatrice Avery.
I thought she would be the perfect girlfriend, seeing as how no one else wanted her, and she was in some ways uglier than I was. Beatrice knew this about herself, and about me. She might not have been the prom queen, but she certainly could've been the class president. Kids can be cruel, it's true, but life has a way of payback.
On this particular night, after we'd dated all of two weeks, Beatrice decided she wanted to see if other things were as big as my eyes, or so she told me as she unzipped my pants. Shocking, yes, but Beatrice was not a delicate flower that needed to be plucked. If only the guys knew the things Beatrice could do, I thought as she expertly worked me into a frenzy. I could feel the sweat on my forehead, dribbling down into my eyes as I blinked rapidly, straining against her like she was a boulder I was determined to move with brute strength. Vigorous is the word that comes to mind now.
Yes-I was extremely vigorous for my first time, and I was proud of this fact. Proud until I realized that Beatrice was jiggling beneath me. Jiggling can be a good thing, but not when it's caused by giggling, and especially not when giggling is during a most crucial moment. Looking down into her face, curious to know what the problem was, she burst out laughing. Hard. Like she had been keeping it bottled up, but now there was no stopping it.
Holding still, I said, "What?"
"You-you l-look like R-Rodney Dangerfield d-d-uring a rectal exam!"
Well-to say that the statement changed things, both literally and figuratively, would be an understatement. That had been the abrupt end of the date with Beatrice; Ocular Coitus Interuptus-O. C. I.
I drove her home amidst her giggling, hiccuping, and wiping her tearing eyes with a tissue. She climbed out of the car, and I sped off without giving her time to say another word. Never again would O. C. I. happen to me, I swore as I drove away. My date with Beatrice was the first and the last time I've been with a girl without paying her to keep her mouth shut during sex.
But now, today, that would all change. My eyes, big, bulbous, scary, would be operated on, and I would be free to let them roam. Zipping up my suitcase, I head out the door, wearing the darkest pair of sunglasses I own.
Arriving at the hospital, I check in and am shown to my room, where I'll be prepped for surgery. Anticipation circles through my body like an eagle circling for the kill. It will feel so good to get my claws into normalcy.
Doctor Stavis comes in, his quivering double chin hidden beneath a thick layer of white hair, his bi-focals perching at the tip of his tiny nose. Looks like God was feeling stingy about noses on Stavis' birthday. Then a thought strikes me. My eyes are abnormally large, and Stavis' nose is abnormally small, so I wonder if God does things such as this to see how we handle our misfortunes. What if my eyes aren't a cosmic goof? What if my eyes have a purpose and I've just been too busy seeing the down side to see the good side? With eyes like mine, you'd think I could see everything.
"Now--we've been over the risks involved in surgery, Mr. Eyeless?" Dr. Stavis says, trying to hide the smirk behind his beard. It's the name. It always causes a smirk when someone sees my eyes, and then has to call me Mr. Eyeless.
"Let's go over it again. Blindness and complete eye loss are the two major risks. This surgery is still new in the States, but I feel confident of a good outcome, Mr. Eyeless."
I pin him with my eyes, staring him down, trying to see if there was a crack in his confidence.
"Dr. Stavis...forgive me, but I want to ask you a question. If it were you, would you have the surgery?"
Dr. Stavis smiles, and pushes his glasses up. "Honestly, I'd have to say no. Granted, your eyes are unique. Never seen anything like them, actually, but I think that all people are different. It's our differences and how we learn to live with them that makes ourselves more humane and our world a better place."
I left the hospital, but this time I left my dark sunglasses in the nightstand drawer.
That was five years ago, and today, I'm in the Guiness Book of World Records for the biggest eyes (and for inverting them for the longest amount of time: one hour) and I'm also the host of a weekly TV series, "Ghosts and Other Ugly Things."
My eyes were the main reason the producer hired me. My life has changed considerably since that day in the hospital. I'm now married to a woman with a bulbous ass. I told her it was love at first sight that made my eyes pop out of my head the first time I saw her bulbous ass swaying past me.
It made her laugh, and the rest, as they say, is history.
About the author:
Sherie Guillory lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband and children. She writes flash fiction, short stories and novels. She is currently published in Cenotaph Pocket Edition and Moxie Magazine.