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Eye stories

I’ve a cataract in the lower left side of my lens. It’s not, I presume, grown that much since I first got it, as my left vision is better than right. Mine is not congenital, however. It was because my dad left the hypodermic on the syringe after giving my mother her pregnancy vitamins. We would play with them, as if they were water guns. Naturally, he had first shooting rights. He thought it would shoot a finer sream; that it would reach farther. Instead, the water pressure turned the needle into a missile. I still vividly remember jumping up and down in the kitchen in Milan. The light was an early fall, or spring, afternoon, indoor gray. (The time of year I cannot remember—I don’t know if I was two or three). On his face incomprehension and guilt. I also remember driving home from the hospital with a patch over my eye. I do not remember anything happening between being pricked and leaving the hospital. Nor do I remember when it came off. Come to think of it, I must of been 2 1/2; it must have been spring. Because, when dad snuck us up into the hospital to see mom after giving birth to my brother (we hid in his big overcoat) I no longer had the patch. In the right light, you can see the hole in my pupil.



Weren’t there pills she could take?

My cousin and I would throw darts at each other. I stuck one in his back; I remember it hanging there, loosely, from his skin (thankfully, only his skin). Other than that, darts were hella fun.

Well, this was Italy in the early 70s. My dad was in med school and could get intravenous vitamins much more cheaply than pills; plus, he could practice his technique on my mom. And, there was the general belief that injections were more efficacious than digestive tract absorption.