The Artificial Eye Hurts

She said that it hurt, every second that artificial eye was in her eye socket, it hurt. My co-worker had lost her left eye when she was very young, her parents had it replaced with a series of glass eye that never fit quite right, and she only wore this artificial eye now to make herself more presentable at work. But it hurt. And she knew that her artificial eye did not track with her remaining eye, sometimes giving her a weird, wonky look. So when I started to take the group photo of her office birthday party, which was my unofficial job as the company technical writer/photo illustrator of mechanical and electrical parts, she quickly rolled her chair away from the table, saying "I don't want my picture taken." I instantly had a plan, "Trust me!"


Later in the day when I went around the cubicles handing out printouts of that happy birthday party she took hers with trepidation. Then she gasped, "You gave me two eyes, I have two eyes." Yes, I was used to photoshopping flaws away from the company's components to make clearer illustrations so to copy, paste, and rotate a little human eye into place was easy.


She said that I had given her just a glimmer of what might have been and she cried with happiness and some sorrow. "This is the best birthday present I ever had, for the first time I see how I might have looked. Thank you."

The Artificial Eye Hurts

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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