This week has been a boring week, even more so than normal. No interesting salesmen coming by, no power cuts or loud arguments from the next door neighbours house. Instead, an identical sunrise and sunset every day with a pretty similar day in-between as well.
I just cycled to the cafe, stocked up, put up with a bit of casual sexism from Mr. Halemi and then cycled back on a now flat tire.
I should quit really, start writing that book that I said I’ve been writing for the past 4 years… but maybe tomorrow.
However, yesterday morning, I found an eyeball. Yes, a real eyeball. Not buried under soil or hidden in a little rabbit hole or even hanging from a dead little bird. It was just lying there on my porch like a lone shocked marble. It stared me out and I might have stopped to stare back if I hadn’t been late for work. I grabbed it, popped it in my pocket and cycled away.
I think the moment you pick up an eyeball with your bare hands and take it to work with you is the moment you realise you need to make a change… but maybe tomorrow.
That day at work, I washed my hands and put on my apron like usual but I didn’t throw away that eyeball. I served the same bacon butties, cleaned the same table tops and re-wrote the same chalk boards all with that little round spy in my pocket.
What a thrill! 3 years and 3 months I’d worked at the cafe and not once had I floated around with such enthusiasm. Even Mr. Halemi’s comments drifted by into the kitchen along with the dirty plates and cups. I was truly running on adrenaline.
What about the next day though? I suppose I couldn’t find an eyeball every day. Or a wing, or an ear or a toe.
I take back my earlier comment, the moment when you start needing severed body parts to make your day, there needs to be a change… but it can all wait until tomorrow.
When we were closing up, Mr. Halemi was grunting smugly as he counted the money from the till. I thought in that moment, I wonder what a man like Mr. Halemi would think of this eye ball. A man who was entirely content to be in a one way relationship with the Queen’s head for the rest of his life. Would he be interested by this unusual discovery? Or would he fire me for breaking various rules of health and safety?
“Mr. Halemi…” I said.
“Yes sugar tits.”
I carried on regardless.
“I found an eye this morning…”
“An I?” he asked “Do you usually find consonants?”
He chuckled to himself. I mentally sighed and tried again.
“No no, an eye.” I continued.
“Eye? Ay, caramba!”
He chuckled again but he was met with silence. He stopped counting his money and turned to me, angrily.
“What do you want me to say?”
“Well, I don’t know, just… a reaction would be good!”
I was getting quite flustered now.
He looked a me almost completely blank, then he just went back to counting his money and mumbled from the side of his mouth.
“What should you do with it? An eye? An imaginary eyeball you’ve found? Jesus Christ.” Mr. Halemi scoffed. “Do you ever get fed up of making up stories? Or haven’t you put that dream to rest yet, love?”
I was speechless. It wasn’t the first time Mr. Halemi had been offensive but it was the first time I’d been genuinely hurt.
Maybe I should have found a tongue this morning to help me get my words out.
It must have shown on my face because he looked slightly guilty. Then he spoke.
“Look to the future, babe.”
That completely silenced me.
It must have been the smartest thing my boss had ever said.
Look to the future? I guess that’s why I found an eye… I guess.
I started writing my book that evening.