I've stared at her so hard
I have her imprinted on my iris. My optical nerve endings have adapted
to the shape of her body. The pupils in my eyes are supposed to be relaxing
in a soft fluid aqueous humor. My desire is over-dilating. The normally
tranquil aqueous humor is spinning like a '70's hot tub and everyone's
jumping in for the orgy.
"You have developed
acute angle closure glaucoma. Something is creating extreme pressure
within your eye. Your IOP level is off the charts." IOP means intraocular
pressure, and I really do want to sleep with Hannah Alexandra. I'm an
actuary, which in itself shouldn't make it impossible to hold a woman's
hand, but the thing is, you don't ask women to hold your hand. "Do
you want to hold my hand, as an expression of world peace?"
My mother's optometrist
gave me strict orders not to look at Hannah anymore.
"That's easy for you
He thanked me for coming
to him. "You're going blind from staring at a woman. It's going
to be a landmark case for me. I'll publish articles in the Rainwater
Optometry Review and Playboy ."
I told him, "Don't
thank me. Thank my mother."
My mother told me don't
stare at a full solar eclipse. If you do, you must remember to have
a piece of cardboard with a little hole, yet in the spur of the moment
you might flat-out look at the full solar eclipse. I saw Hannah every
Tuesday and Thursday night at Bergen Community College's continuing
ed Guitar playing seminar.
In the first class we had
to sit in a circle with our guitars strapped around our necks and say
why we wanted to play guitar at this point in our lives.
"Well," I said,
"I lost my life fifteen years ago. Life. I meant wife. Wife. I
always told her I'd play this old guitar for her at a picnic at Rison
Field, sing 'Sweet Baby James' to her but I never did. It's not that
I think I'll win her back. I'm an actuary, for god's sake."
Everyone looked at me as
if I'd just flown in from Mars, a place where there are actuaries.
Hannah said, "I never
know what I want, but I want to play this here guitar." And then
she strummed a chord. I'd learn it was the G minor chord. Hannah has
rich Irish red hair and red polka dot freckles. She reminds me of my
sister's friend who ran away from home. The police found her trying
to hitchhike with two suitcases on Route 4. Route 4 is the highway that
leads to the mall and no one will give you a ride to the mall. My family
laughed at the foolishness of her plan but I so admired her courage.
Hannah's skin may be pale and she may me small but under the surface
is a dense super rubber. Her body is made of the same stuff super balls
are made of. I can just tell that no matter what happens in her life
she'll bounce back. The first bounce of a super ball is fast and true.
The second bounce is darting, fast and practically uncatchable as excess
spin gets logged in.
I knew I'd have to drop
the class, because I'd never stop staring at Hannah. The plus side of
going blind is I wouldn't mind being lead around, guided by a Seeing
Eye dog or a woman with a guitar who'd strum the G chord to tell me
turn left, the C to turn right. I don't think there are any Seeing Eye
guitarists, so I went to one last class to drop out. As I stared at
Hannah, white light poured into me. I told myself, look away, for god's
sake. She was wearing a red vinyl mini skirt, so I told myself just
deal with the pain. Maybe if I put a tiny hole in a piece of cardboard.
I walked up to Hannah at
her car after class. "I can't look at you anymore because I look
at you so much I'm going blind."
She says, "That 's
the sweetest thing a man has ever said to me. Do you want to go Rison
Field and have a picnic? I can play this song I've been practicing."
I blinked my eyes. "I'll
bring some chicken salad sandwiches."
Michael Dermansky studied
writing with Heather Lewis and Janice Eidus at the Writer's Voice in
New York City. He is currently writing and performing stand-up comedy
at clubs such as Stand-up New York, Don't Tell Mama, New York Comedy
Club. He is also developing a one person show.