I hear the door open, a car pulls out of the drive and then silence
. My sister is a baby
. I am six. Where is my mother
? I slip out of the bed in my T-shirt and pad up the dark hallway. My mother is gone. My heart is pounding. There is a man sitting in the living room, very young. Maybe still a teenager. He has a black, slicked back hair-do, leather jacket and bony evil cheeks
“Where is my mother!” I am angry and trying to sound as fierce as possible, ready to go after his kneecaps with some super karate chop action.
“She went to the party store. She will be right back. Are you ok?”
He has said all the right things so perhaps he will be my new dad. I do not want him to slip away now that he has proven himself properly concerned and fatherly. He really cares about me! Maybe this is the one, like a brother/father, the kind I always wanted! I make up a story, tell him there is something in my eye and then I poke myself to produce redness and tears.
He gets up and takes me by the shoulders and twists me gently under the lamplight. His breath is soft and smoky on my face; I am nearly drunk on alcoholic fumes billowing forth. I open my eye all the way and he peers in for a long time.
“Take your eyelid like this, and pull it down and wiggle it around on your eye.”
I do this but the phantom particle does not budge.
“Did you get it?”
When I tell him no he seems very concerned. He wants to help me in the worst way.
“Here” he beckons, tilting my head up. He opens his mouth, tongue protruding, his fingers holding my lids apart. He licks my eye.
I am stunned by the new moisture, the odd stirring, the grossness of this entire moment. He asks if I am ok now. “Works every time,” He tells me. I picture him in other kids houses, licking their eyes, waiting for their mothers to come home with a fresh pint. He is an eye slut. He is no kind of dad. My mother must sense this too because later, when their muffled humping is complete he does not stay the night.
Eye did not like him.