Published in


Dirt Bomb to the Eye

A sudden injury lands me at the doorstep of the sublime

Amy Baugess on Unsplash

A couple of seconds in the early afternoon of a brooding, overcast Friday etched itself indelibly into the fiber of my being, sending me to the Emergency Room and igniting a desire to meld with the deeper nature of the cosmos.

I was 10 at the time, a rising soccer star sprinting across the fields of Bromwell Elementary School, attuned to the currents of the playground. Kids were everywhere, in perpetual motion, propelled by the inchoate sexual energy that was awakening in them, like serpents beginning to uncoil…

Suddenly, there is an explosion in my left eye. Alarmed, I reach up to gingerly tap my eyelid, feeling a small lump that should not be there. Specks of loose dirt and mica chips sprinkle down my cheeks, and I hear footfalls scampering away, and the wind starting to howl.

I desperately want to rub that eye so as to salve the itch, but resist, fearful of damaging the tender structures in there.

I wait on a bench, along with a teacher, for my mother to arrive.

Walking into the hospital’s Emergency Room, she whispers to me in her Eastern European accent that she hopes the injury is not serious. As usual, I feel the quiet panic beneath her words, the gift of months in the Auschwitz concentration camp that will live within her always. It’s a fierce burning that can’t be reckoned with or soothed. At my age, I’m simply vexed by it.

The doctor uses medical tweezers to carefully pluck the dirt from my eye, and then sluices it with cleansing water that runs down my cheek. “Good boy,” he pats my shoulder. “If you had rubbed this, you might not be using it right now.” I’m pleased with my foresight, even as I try to suppress the aftershock jolt of adrenaline-charged fear that’s suddenly surging in me.

My mother has a hard time absorbing the good news. She’s lost in the dark vision that’s taken her over, pretty much like always, the one she’s already sending out into the future, the one that I cannot figure out.

The doc tells me I’ll have to wear an eye patch for a few weeks. At school, my chums are merciless with their jibes.

I never find out who threw the dirt bomb.

In middle and high school I struggle to maintain a C average. In 11th grade a vision exam reveals that I need eyeglasses. I’d been passing the exams by squinting strategically and relying heavily on my good eye, cleverly guessing the answers, all out of fear of rocking the boat, of upsetting my mother.

The left eye — the dirt-bombed one — needs a significant correction, the right one not so much. There is a strong astigmatism in the left. Actually, the eye is misshapen. When exactly did that happen? Did the dirt bomb do that or had it always been that way? I really want to know.

The Akashic Records are believed to be a kind of interdimensional cosmic library containing the records of all actions, events, feelings and thoughts that have occurred since the flame of humanity was lit. These records exist in a different plane of reality than ours— an in-between world, according to the lore of the ancient Hindus. Perhaps it’s the place we go when we shuffle off our mortal coils. The Akashic Records could be a fiction, of course.

If I ever come across them, perhaps after my final shuffle, I will look into the eye drama. I’ll find out if the astigmatism was congenital or the result of the dirt bomb attack. I’ll learn who threw it and what became of him, if he admitted to the crime and if he suffered guilt on seeing me wearing that patch. I’ll learn if he was one of the boys who had teased me mercilessly. I’ll find out if any karma resulted, and what it was.

Are some events more advantageous than others, in a long game of importance of which we are a part? Are we at the very center of it? Are new futures being spun out as a result of the decisions we make — and maybe the ones we avoid — that fan out to create infinite worlds that a part of us touches in some way?

But back to the eye. If I do get to glimpse the Akashic records, I’ll look into the eye affair *. Oh, heck yes, I will. And maybe a few other things as well. Things I’ve always wanted to know. Personal things.

For example, what was my mother’s father like, a beloved philanthrope and businessman I missed knowing by 20 years? Or how about this: What was Mom like when she was just a pip-squeak kicking at her sisters under the dinner table? Why did my paternal grandfather decide to leap off the top of a building in Brooklyn? What happened on the grassy knoll in Dallas that day in 1963? Who shot Kennedy? How was Stonehenge built? What was it that wiped out the dinosaurs? And, of course, where is Elvis?

*=pun intended

More stories by Lev Metropol

About Lev: I am a writer and advocate for alternative treatments of depression. My goal is to create transcendent, quality fiction and non-fiction.

unGlommed, the Guerrilla Approach to Beating Depression by Lev Metropol



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store