Waiting For a Beginning

I see the journey, the path I have taken like the wake of a great ship.

My left eye is the really bad eye. The vision is worse in the left eye. Sometimes after cataract surgery there is a build up sort of like driving with a foggy window. It is not a new cataract and the fix is really easy and not invasive. It is a YAG laser that punches a small  hole through it and it clears the lens up. I cannot have this procedure because of the silicon oil in my eye so right now at least I am stuck with this condition. It would be so much better if I could have this done. My left eye has been through a lot. The three or four doctors who have looked at it usually say something nice to me after they have seen the retina. It is surrounded by scar tissue all the way around. I have had so many surgeries that my eye really won’t open all the way. I did not have big eyes o begin with so now its worse, usually my doctor has to pry it open with a q-tip. It gives my face a lopsided look sort of like a Picasso painting misshapen and ugly without the strange beauty. I don’t take selfies and I hate looking at someone straight on. It does not take a genius to figure out that I will be alone forever. No one would want to look at this mess of a face.

When I started my senior year in high school I knew nothing about college. I did not know what the SAT’s were, or how to apply to college. I literally thought you showed up and they let you in. I had not had any sort of discussion about college with my mom. I just assumed it would all work out. I flirted with joining the army. I wanted to be a helicopter pilot. You only get to take that test once so the recruiter was hesitant  to let me. I had nearly scored a perfect score on the initial test so I persuaded him to let me take the flight test which I also nearly aced. I am good at taking tests. I have never had any test anxiety. Unfortunately I  disappointed him when he found out about my asthma.

I went and spoke to my counselor and she told me she was wondering when I was going to come and see her. She told me about the SAT and about applying for colleges. I had always wanted to be a special education teacher, since my earliest years in elementary school. I took the SAT in November. In the words of Arlo Guthrie I had gotten good and drunk the night before so I could look and feel my best. I scored high enough on the first attempt where I did not have to tae the test again. I qualified for any school I wanted to attend. I applied to Stephen F. Austin because my friend Guy asked me to. He and I arranged everything, dorm room and application. We were both accepted pretty early and I excitedly told my mom about it. It was the first time I had spoken to her about college. She said no because she could not afford to send me there. She said I could apply at any local school or ask my father for help. I knew he would not help me. I ended up applying at the University of Texas at Arlington which is an incredibly large university in the middle of Arlington. It is mostly a commuter school but it had enough student life to be appealing. They had no formal education program there so I chose social work not entirely sure if I would stay with that major or even the school. Getting accepted was the easy part. I had no doubts.

I could not wait for graduation. I wanted high school over and done with. I was tired of the cliques and the snobbish behavior of people who just looked down at me. I was tired of asshats shoving me in the hall saying hello to girls who just stared at me  like I was stupid or  some sort of disease. I guess I have always been misshapen and ugly. I wanted release from that hell even if it meant going to a new hell. On the night of graduation I had chipped in on a keg with a few friends and we drove around with this in he back of a pickup. There were a lot of parties that night ad at one of these I decided that I had had enough so I parted ways and walked home which happened to be nearby. My mom was surprised to see me but I told her that I was just done and ready for something new.  I think she understood. I was home by midnight and it was like the clock striking ending one part of my life and promising me something new on the other side. High school was over.


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