It’s not just my ass that’s lazy.
As a toddler, I constantly had so many bruises my mom thought I was a hemophiliac or something. She finally got scared people thought she was beating me and took me to the doctor. Turns out I walked into things all the time because I couldn’t see properly. There’s a reason my family nickname is Grace.
I wore glasses from the age of two but the lazy eye wasn’t discovered til I was six, and I spent most of first grade with a patch over my other eye in an attempt to correct it. It didn’t work, and now I’m kind of weird looking. This does not stop me from getting all the dudes.
A lazy eye, or Amblyopia, means that the brain doesn’t fully process visual signals coming from one eye, forcing the other one to work harder. This causes the “lazy” one to gradually develop a massive inferiority complex (see how YOU feel if people call you lazy all the time) and eventually just despair at the sheer futility of it all and stop trying, or, in my case, to become a terrifying secret weapon. More on that later.
So I have two eyes that will never look in the same direction no matter what. My right eye always drifts a little bit up and to the right. If I make the conscious effort of focusing with my right, the left one wanders off to the left and the world becomes a dull, blurry mess because now neither of them are doing their job. My favourite explanation for this is as follows:
Small child: Why are your eyes funny?
Me: They got in a fight a long time ago and haven’t spoken to each other since. When one wants to look at something, the other one takes off in a huff.
Small child: What? That’s stupid! How can your eyes fight?
Me: Look kid, I don’t know what was said and it’s none of my business anyway. Talk to your shoelaces next time they untie each other and see if you get any answers.
Small child: …
Usually only little kids will ask the question so directly. Most adults I interact with will eventually ask, but in an apologetic, self-conscious manner. Usually the question is, “Um… look. I don’t mean to be rude, or embarrass you but… um… which eye should I be looking in?”
I think this question is amazingly polite and brave as they are concerned enough about making eye contact to risk bringing back memories of childhood trauma and humiliating mockery by cruel kids in my school. Eye contact is very important to me, so kudos to them. Nonetheless I’m sometimes tempted to pretend I don’t know what they’re talking about and fake a bewildered panic attack when they insist I look in a mirror.
The answer of course is, “The one that’s looking at you, dumbass.” Because if the other one is looking at you, bad things are probably about to happen. More on that later.
Only twice ever has anyone, including the mean kids at school, said anything rude about it. One was a coworker’s meathead boxing instructor. He didn’t say it to my face but my coworker (a douche) gleefully quoted him as having said, “Oh, she’s got one of them googly eyes. Tell her to let me know if she ever needs it punched straight.”
Well I never.
I calmly responded, “Let him know that next time I see him I’ll slap some respect into his fucking ugly head.”
More recently, a random dude at a bus stop at 8 am walked up and said, “Hey! Whatsamatter with your eye?” He then spent the next 10 minutes stammering apologies, because I expressed my low opinion of his manners and looked at him with it. Poor guy. I’m really not a morning person.
I generally don’t feel self conscious about it, though it does get annoying when I get tired, as it tends to drift further and people begin glancing over their shoulders to see who I’m talking to. It’s an odd beauty mark of sorts and I’ve discovered thanks to a Photoshop experiment that my face doesn’t work at all without it. If you think I look weird with one eye staring off somewhere to the right, both eyes straight is downright creepy. I’ve noticed a tendency to accentuate and draw attention to it. I part my hair on the right and my makeup always turns out just a little more perfect on that side.
As a psychic, witchy type person it’s a very appropriate feature to have. Back in the good old days it was considered a “witch mark.” Though arguably anything was considered a witch mark back then if they wanted your property bad enough. However it does lend visibly to my mystique. And strikes terror into the hearts of all who would oppose me.
That’s the fun little bonus feature to my so-called “disability.” People find it disconcerting as fuck when I look at them with it. I don’t know why, since it really limits my ability to see, but occasionally when I need a status boost in a situation I’ll instinctively switch cameras and stare a person down with my dead, expressionless, vision-impared right eye and they will lose their nerve completely. I’ve made large, threatening men back away slowly simply by looking at them. I once won a sparring match the same way. I saw his facial expression change, his shoulders drop and his confidence drain in a split second. It’s incredibly satisfying when this happens. Sure taught that guy at the bus stop not to make rude personal comments to strange women.
The only person not affected this way is my boyfriend who loves it and gives it kisses and will occasionally cover my good eye and talk to it, which is strange but very endearing.
Not only that, but I have excellent right-side peripheral vision and I can, no shit, see around corners. I use them independently in a way that would give a normally-sighted person a screaming headache. This makes me fucking awesome.
Of course, my depth perception is for shit and I still walk into things all the time, but everything comes with a price.