I am born.
Bright lights. Concerned faces.
“Look, at the eye! Doctor? The right eye is crossed.”
“Don’t worry. In laymen’s terms it’s called a lazy eye. The weakened muscle can be corrected.”
“What a shame! Such a pretty blue.”
I lead an idyllic life drifting in and out. I feel a little isolated as the other eyes in the house are hazel and brown. They mock me with their straight-on stares but I’m the color of the sky. My favorite activity is watching clouds float by.
I don’t like the classroom. I’m forced to read letters. Fatigue sets in. I drift and see double. Cat. . . CAAT
I despise the exercises. Forced to focus on a moving tongue depressor. Stupid. Not gonna do it.
I graduate from college and see the world.
The world is a beautiful place. I love Capri and the Blue Grotto. The waters wink at me and splash playfully. The cavern is deep and reflective. I long to stay. The Canary Islands are sultry and restful with their black volcanic soil. Final destination—the Fjords. No need to even focus on the faraway majestic cliffs. Am I the only one who sees gnomes hiding in the rocks?
I watch ceiling tiles as I skim down a corridor on soft rubber wheels. I round a corner and enter a room. Bright lights—creeping cold. Asian eyes peak over a mask.
“The surgery will take about two hours. There will be some bleeding as the eye is a very vascular area. Pain will be manageable with the right medication. But after surgery—bye, bye lazy eye!”
Surgeon? Surgery! Bye. Bye? Oh my god. No. What have I done to deserve this death? Look at those knives. Will they split me in two? Dig me out? Slice me? Dice me? Please. Tell me how you plan to destroy me?
Blink. Blink. Doctor, see what a lovely shade of blue? Calming. Don’t. Beep. Fade to black.
Hello? Blink. Hello? Where am I? Is this really happening? I thought they killed me?
“You’ll be comfortable here, Mom. It’s a five-star nursing home.”
“Don’t worry about me, Son. You have your own stresses.”
“Sorry Scout couldn’t come with you. No dogs allowed.”
“You’d better go. It’s 4:30. Mealtime.”
“Fix your eye, Mom. It’s starting to wander again.”
“Is it? Well I’m glad it’s back. It’s who I am.”
I can’t stay open. The eyelid keeps closing on me. Concerned faces hover. I drift in and out. I roll up. I roll back down. I’m so tired.
I grow reflective. It’s been a strange life. I still don’t know why they tried to kill me. Did I cause harm? Fear? Pain? No. But I was born. I saw the world. How I miss Capri.
I find a partner
Who said that?
I’m the other eye. You can’t see me because I’m right next to you.
Are you blue?
Do you wander and drift?
No. I guess that’s why we don’t know each other. We never worked as a pair.
I think we’re dying.
Yes. I don’t mind. I had a good life.
Mine was short compared to yours. But long when measured by all my adventures. Did you love Capri?
Oh, yes. But I loved the Vatican best. All the museums of Rome.
Too much for me to take in. It wore me out. I didn’t like the catacombs. Will we end up in a dark cave as ancient moldy bones?
No, Silly. We’re gelatinous.
I don’t like that word.
I wish we could have been partners. I was basically alone.
I was always here beside you.
Are you afraid?
I am. Join me in a singalong?
“T was on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flowers blooming round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri.”
Margo Rife is drawn to small word count. Margo’s “50 Word story” was part of the Covid Chronicles. Her “Unholy Trinity Drabbles” have been published in Trembling with Fear. Her poem “Notice” Me will be published in a ghost anthology this summer. “Gods Gifts are Timeless” is part of a forthcoming Transmundane Time Anthology. Dark Passage Publishing will be publishing “Down a Rabbit Hole Darkly”. Margo is also a playwright whose monologues and short plays have been staged at Burning Coal Theatre in NC and The Playground Experiment in NYC.
Plays can be found at newplayexchange.org.
Margo is an editor for the podcast Basement Stories produced in the basement studio of her very own local library. Find the podcast at www.gregvondare.com/podcast