Caussey's Corner

Caussey’s Corner: Glass On the Floor, a Texas Tale of a Glass Eye

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Tony Maples Photography


School is about halfway over for students around Christmas. By May, most boys and girls will have improved enough in their reading and math skills for promotion to the next grade.

However, below the surface of all this academic pursuit lies a struggle for peer acceptance and approval that all students seek. Most students are more concerned about what their classmates think and feel than the opinions of parents or teachers.

When I was in the fourth grade, few teachers held me in much esteem, and my fellow students hardly knew or cared much for me. Other than being poor, dirty, and a little hungry, there wasn’t much more to know.

But all that changed when Harry moved into the community. Harry was in the fourth grade and even poorer and dirtier than me. We became good friends because rag-a-muffins often times stick together.

But the class readily accepted Harry, because he had a genuine glass eye. A glass eye that he could remove quickly, leaving an empty orifice in which it was housed. That empty eye-socket was nearly as attractive as the glass eye. The light blue glass eye was slightly larger than Harry’s own dark brown one.

Caussey's Corner: Glass On the Floor, a Texas Tale of a Glass Eye

Photo: envato elements

Harry could always become the center of attention. He would simply remove the glass eye and let the students marvel at his eye-removing techniques. Everyone liked Harry, even those neat, clean, prissy little girls that always smelled of lilac.

As Harry’s social light burned brightly, I bathed in that light because I was his best friend. When I was around Harry, I wasn’t quite as poor, dirty or hungry. I washed myself in the peripheral light that celebrated Harry’s presence.

Harry on occasion would let me hold the sacred eye. When the eye was in my hand, I became the heir to the inheritance of popularity. Each time I got my hands on the illustrious orb, I displayed it for the entire class to see. Sometimes I would toss it in the air, as gasps filled the space and smothered shrieks helped to escort it down. I always caught it, whether in midair or just before it hit the floor. Harry didn’t seem to mind his eye and me sharing in the attention. After all, he still had the empty hole, which always received attentive glances.

My teacher, Miss Brown, was a kind and patient lady who suffered many an ordeal because of my misbehavior.

One morning I decided the class was too focused on learning, and things needed to be livened up a little. So I got Harry’s eye and tossed it high into the air. The eye seemed to linger somewhere around the light fixtures, then unexpectedly plummeted downward toward the floor. Its revolving motion and my temporary inattention caused the eye to hit the floor. It bounced high, hit two desks and rolled out the door. Then it ricocheted off a locker as it sped down the hall, picking up momentum with each bounce.

Caussey's Corner: Glass On the Floor, a Texas Tale of a Glass Eye

Photo: @mppllc via Twenty20

In a flash, I was out the door. As the eye bounced past other open classroom doors it drew the immediate attention of that class, which rose and began to gather at their door, spilling out into the hall. But fear quickened my feet and I was beginning to gain on it. Just as the rolling eye reached the main office area, I made a desperate but successful somersaulting grab. The momentum carried me to the feet of the principal, Mr. Johnson, who came out of his office to investigate the commotion.

Mr. Johnson was small in stature, but lying there sprawled at his feet he looked gigantic to me.

“Uh, uh,” said I, searching for breath. “Harry accidentally dropped his eye and I was trying to help him get it back.”

Mr. Johnson reached down, lifted me to my feet, and smiled. “What you did was an honorable thing, even noble. But I have always liked you and know you will continue to do what is right.”

I looked at the eye in my hand. It didn’t wink, but my heart leaped because I was told that I was liked. From then on, I knew I had a friend. Someone who liked me just the way I was.

The eye was returned to Harry, who in the future was a little less casual in letting me hold it.

This story is mostly true. It was not written to make light of the visually impaired or those that use prosthetics, but a story written to help explain how we all need friends, and how insecure children can be. Children seeking attention cause most of the misbehavior in school. They become so desperate to be accepted and loved that misbehavior is manifested in the pursuit of that attention.

Durhl Caussey is a syndicated columnist writing for papers across America. He can be reached at this newspaper or [email protected].