Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Glass Eye Incident

The Teacher and The Glass Eye

I was eavesdropping on a conversation the other day at the coffee shop I hang out in. This is my favorite place to get inspiration for stories and characters. My other place is the mall. I love to people watch. There is no end to the flow of ideas when the juices are flowing.
The two woman had their heads together in whisper mode, but my spider scenes was working and I heard most of the anecdote while assuming a pose of disinterest should one of them regard me with a suspicious glance.
The story was punctuated with nervous giggles and shushes and at first I thought there must be male bashing going on, but this was to be a wrong assumption. Apparently one of the women was a substitute teacher covering for a elementary class. One of the students came up to the desk with one hand over her face and the other proffering a clutched hand. Upon opening her hand she revealed a shocking surprise. It was a glass eye looking up from her palm.
The substitute teacher stifled a scream and nausea and rushed around to check on her student who was surprisingly calm considering the situation. No blood. The thought crossed her mind that this might be a prank but the mother in her took over and she quickly ushered the young girl to the school nurse.
The nurse giggled when she learned what happened. "Oh you met Mary (named changed). No one warned you?"
The teacher was still in a state of shock as she shook her head no.
"Mary has a glass eye. She lost her eye in a car accident. It is a little loose and comes out sometimes. She is very shy and not willing to let the other children know."
The nurse busied herself with cleaning the perfect little gem before handing it back to Mary who popped it back in with little effort like she was putting in a contact.
"We think she should let her secret out someday and her peers will show her respect for her honesty."
The next day the unexpected happened during a game of musical chairs. The glass eye popped out and skittered across the floor. The intrepid teacher reached down and picked up the eye and handed it back this time without skipping a beat. There was a pregnant silence in the air and then a rush of questions to the teacher. Mary showed off her eye like it was show and tell. Each student took a turn holding it and carefully examined it like it was a precious jewell. Some of the boys wanted to peer into the empty socket with unbridled curiosity. The teacher held her breath hoping this wouldn't turn into a horror fest. It didn't and when she took Mary to the nurse for cleaning and reinsertion, she had a broad smile on her face.