Vol. 7

CARY STOUGH
The Year I Lost an Eye

 

I’m at the county fair riding the Wurlitzer or Accordion when suddenly I want to be on a different ride. Maybe Button Mountain or The Ride. I slide into my seat and wonder, Wurlitzer or accordion. I scratch my chin as the lady comes by to jam the bar firmly between my thighs. Maybe Wurlitzer, because it sounds exotic and a little sexy, too. I wonder if it’s like a sex position. To be honest, the heat of the matter makes me doze a bit. I come to and she’s tying one of my arms above my head. By this point, I’m pretty strapped in to this particular ride. I’m not sure they’d let me go if I asked. And I think, maybe it’s like someone bends you over an organ, fingering your sides like spiders. Excuse me, I say, raising a free arm, but someone else comes and straps that arm down around my crotch. I kick my legs back and forth to seem as if I was ok with waiting for so long. A nervous tick, but now I actually had something to be nervous about. It was true, I didn’t mind the wait. From below me, though, I feel what roughly seemed to be four or five tiny hands gripping the backs of my calves and pulling them back and strapping them there like a hog for slaughter. This was something new, I registered. The ride begins to move. Such quick warm delicate hands they had. How many people work on this ride? I think, are my arms spindly or squat? I don’t remember. I can’t even feel them anymore. I hear some rustling around my ears and then someone puts duct tape over my eyes, so I can’t even see a thing. Someone puts an apple in my mouth, or at least it’s something hard that smells like an apple. I begin to like the ride I’m on. After all, I’m getting fed, you know? What does it matter if I ever got home? It was my first day off in years and I was happy to be sitting down. Before you know it, the rides stop moving. I wake up in a field that used to be the county fair that used to be farmland. This was just the beginning of a bigger, better ride, I thought. Winter. All I can see are stars in the night sky, like a jukebox. On my way home I lose an eye. I can’t even remember which one now. I dream I own my own clothing-optional dance studio called Definitely Accordion where every night is Polka Night and nothing hurt.

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