Sunday, August 20, 2006
Horses and Myths
“No! It got burned out in a fire.”
“Nuh-uh! A horse knocked it out.”
Jacob rolled his eyes in amusement and looked at me. We both had to stifle our laughter. The Troublemint Twins were trying their best to explain to the newest students that their teacher was not all “there.” I was busy pretending to mind my own business while listening to this myth in the making.
“She really does have a false eye, and I’ve seen it. She took it out one day and I nearly fainted. Don’t ever scratch your face with a pencil,” cautioned Byrne.
David and Erika glanced over at me. Did they dare believe the stories they were hearing? I wasn’t giving any clues, and Jacob wasn’t much help. He was taking his clues from me.
I lost my right eye to cancer, or rather to the effects of the radiation treatment. This fact is a fascination of no end of delight to the students because their parents rarely know this. I don't announce the fact to the kids. I let them in on it by little quips and fits.
When I miss-mark a paper I have a ready excuse: It takes me twice as long to see half as much and make twice as many mistakes. So what do you expect?
If they come up to me on the right side, I warn them that’s my dodging side. They soon figure out what I mean.
To date not one student has taken advantage of my good graces because of my generous blind spot. They are too kind to me in the first place, and I can sense their presence too well for that in the second place.
As for the stories, well, they are discombobulated. The burn occurred during while we were burning debris from Katrina last August. As for the horse…
One of my required credit hours was a phys ed. course. Now, I wasn’t about to have things come a-flying at me with my depth perception, so tennis was out. Besides, I’d already been through one ACL repair, and I wasn’t going to do another. The other options were just as lovely, except for one in particular, horseback riding in an indoor arena. It was English saddle, and I reckoned, “What could happen?” I mean, easy lopin’, right?
I got paired with this horse named Dakota. No lie, this horse was one-eyed. That’s right, this one-eyed lady got sat on top of a one-eyed horse. Now what sense does THAT make? It might have made some if it was opposite eyes, but it wasn’t. We were both blind on the same sides, going around this arena.
Things went well for a few weeks. Then one night Dakota went a bit out of direction. That would have been OK had he gone into the ring, but he didn’t. He went into the wall. The wall was on our blind side, of course. Neither of us saw it coming. Which is why he went there in the first place, and why I got dislocated from his back in the second place.
I got back on.
Thankfully it was the last class.
I made an A+ on the course.