Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lazy Eye

Yesterday, I bumped into someone with a lazy eye1, and it reminded me of someone I went to high school with.

Her name was Lara, and she had a lazy eye. For those who are more detail oriented, the left eye was her lazy eye, though if you were to ask me about it without having known the girl, I would have said it was the right. I always get the left-right thing backwards on others. Guess I am self-centered that way. "Sure, it is your left arm, but it is to the right from my perspective." I remember it was her left because she called it her sinister eye, "sinister" being Latin for pocket, but when I was in grade school, I thought it stood for left (those crazy Romans had their pocket on the left).

Back to Lara. Her lazy eye, to me, was not the most memorable physical characteristic she had. You see, she had the most clear and monotoned skin I have ever seen. That is, there was little pigment variation in her skin. It sounds weird, but if you look at most people, their skin has color variations, sometimes subtle, but there nonetheless. Lara did not have any of that.

Of all of the people I have known, Lara reminded me more of a fairy than anyone else I have seen. She was thin, both in her body and arms, and because her skin was all one color and was light-colored, she almost did not look human in a beautiful-sort of way. It was as if God gave her the appearance that some cinematographers try to give characters on film.

Her hair was straight and fine, and she looked as if she should inhabit a large oak. She was very conscious of her "lazy eye," and on more than one occasion, I heard boys making fun of her.

The reason I am discussing her physical characteristics is because I really did not know much about Lara. She was extremely shy, and when she spoke, you sometimes had to strain to here her. She had a best friend, who I cannot now, even remember her name. The other girl moved away some time in middle school, which must have been hard for a girl who was shy and slow to make friends.

She killed herself at 17, and although I will never forget her, I wonder if she realized how beautiful she really was. She hated her eye, and thought her eye represented her whole being, at times. She could not see past her eye to realize that I (and others) loved her skin, and although it made her look like a fairy, I would have loved to have such unique skin.

She was the first young person who I knew that died. And I remember asking how she killed herself, and was hushed, as if that was not a question that should be asked. I found out years later that she ingested pills, but even now, I am not really all that certain. This was a subject that was of interest to most of us and discussed by few.

I can't say that this saddened me, though I remember crying. Not crying for the seventeen year old that I really did not know, but crying for her when I knew her better, the sixth-grader who was inseparable from a girl I did not know and who looked like a fairy. I guess I also cried because we were in the same school for so many years, and I really did not know all that much about her.

Lara, I hope you have found peace, and likewise, I hope your family has healed from this tragic suicide. Somehow, I don't think Lara realized that when she plucked herself from this world, like a gardener removes a flower from a bed, she left a whole. Tragically, I don't think 17-year-olds realize this.

1I will admit that I don't know if lazy eye is a medical term, and I am not going to google it (too lazy today). If this is an offensive term, consider me ignorant on the subject.


~Deb said...

Wow. It’s amazing how people view themselves sometimes. The “flaw” that people think they have, sometimes is looked at as their “beauty mark”. I mean, look at that one model, (which I happen to forget her name), but she’s this beautiful black model with tons of freckles on her face. All her life, she was self-conscious about her freckles and blemishes, until one day, this photographer noticed her…for the very reason why she hated herself.

I’m sorry to hear that Lara didn’t realize her beauty long enough to make a wise decision to stay here. You cried, because your compassion for others is endearing. Thanks for sharing this…

Bossy♥'s YOU said... started out nice, then got really damn very sad.

I was hoping u were going to say she turned very popular and is a mother now or something..I was not expecting that..

its too bad she felt taking her own life was the best course for her.

so very sad..

i can picutre her, and she looks lovely..even with her lazy eye.

RWA said...

Someone I went to high school with but didn't know that well killed themselves too.

It is a bit strange how everyone reacts after that. And you really have to wonder what that person was going through inside.

It's sad.

LarryLilly said...

I know what you said. I felt what you said. I lived what you said.

Who knows why minds dwell on reasons they see, how they view life, what they feel and what they think others feel about them. There is no reason, the stuff outsiders see is not measurable really, but these tortured souls see these things larger than the universe.

Yes, I was wondering if this was another of Leesa's brainal dumps, and yes it was, and I am glad that you remembered her name. Because in remembering her name, she is still real.....even today.


Ian Lidster said...

That's a very sad story, Leesa. I find it so tragic when young people become overburdened with what are often trivial matters and choose this way out. The hardest part about teen suicide is that families never really do get over it.


Leesa said...

~deb: thanks for your kind words.

bossy: wouldn't it have been great if I would have said that Lara went on to college, married well, had a family, and now is some sort of person who counsels those with perception problems. If only.

rwa: I have had suicidal feelings, and I have even made plans. But death just scared me too much at the time.

larry: I almost did not finish this story because I didn't want you to read the ending. I could have stopped and focussed on her view of herself and my view of her.

ian: I don't think the family gets over suicide, whether it is a teen or an adult.

LarryLilly said...


No, I am glad that you did finish it. Yes, I hated that she killed herself, but I am glad that you remembered her. There are too many that do kill themselves, its the third leading cause of death in people under 21, next to accidents (mainly auto) and child diseases (birth related mainly).

The fact that you remember this girl, and her life, reaffirms to the parents of a lost child that they still live on.

We should not gloss over life's details, even if tragic. Its what makes it what it is... individual and real, even if at times sad.

We are the messengers of lives lost.

Leesa said...

larry: thanks! Not sure how to properly respond. I am all quiet right now. Shocker!