Monday, August 5, 2013

The third eye on my thigh

I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever. 
~~ Edgar Allen Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart"

I have a third eye. It lives on my thigh, and it has nothing to do with my chakras -- unless maybe I bruised one.  It's been there for 12 days now -- unblinking, keeping its secrets. Like the Mona Lisa of bruises, this eye.

At first I thought the eye was a little creepy. I didn't want to linger in the bathroom reading magazines, listening to the neighbors fight, or waiting out Coraline, who sometimes uses the potty as an excuse to get out of other things, like taking a nap, and who likes company as she tinkles.

It just seemed weird having an eye staring up at me while I was performing very private acts. I guess it's better than having a nose on my thigh, but it took some getting used to.

Also it made me shudder to shave it .... If only it would blink.

I certainly didn't want to get soap in on it.

It had only been there a couple of days when it started attracting attention. I was riding my bike downtown to a festival on a Friday. I had on a skort, which must be the stupidest word ever except for maybe spork.

Anyway, a skort is a pair of shorts with a built-in skirt over them. So it looks like a skirt, but has more coverage than a skirt in the places that count. If I just wear a skirt, I have to layer shorts underneath while I ride and then take them off when I get to where I'm going. It's just easier to wear the skort in spite of the stupid name.

I'm pretty sure I've digressed because my third eye has finally closed and appears to be asleep.

The skort is not the perfect cycling wear. It rides up on my legs rather higher than I'd prefer, but not so far that it's obscene. I'm just used to my tight spandex bike shorts that end somewhere just above or below my knees. But it's a mile and a half, and I don't expect anybody is going to be staring at my legs as I ride along the city streets and sidewalks.

Except this middle-aged guy driving an orange PT Cruiser with his window down who slowed to almost a crawl, his head hanging out of the window as he stared at my lower half. And it was just as I had slowed too, going up a steep turn onto a bridge.

Having forgotten about the eye, I immediately felt flattered and a little turned on defensive. What the fuck, guy in an orange PT Cruiser? I thought. Are you trying to see my vagina or what?

Of course my vagina was covered by a skirt sewn to shorts as well as panties. It wasn't peeking out no matter how hard he looked, but I still had to glance down and check to see what had caused him to forget his manners.

When I looked down I saw the eye looking back up at me with its enigmatic expression. No wonder he was staring! He'd probably never seen anybody with a thigh eye before. 

"Did you see that?" I said to the eye. "That guy was staring at you." Its expression didn't change.

(The thought doesn't escape me that the eye is also embedded in a dark bruise the size of my palm, which might also have caught the man's attention, but who gives a shit if a stranger on a bicycle has a bruise? People don't slow down and stare at that, do they? I live in a neighborhood where men's pants are always in danger of falling down. Now that's something to stare at.)

I rode on and was glad to arrive at the festival where I could pull my skort down into place and cover the eye. My thighs don't need that kind of attention.

Sometime shortly after that though, I had to admit to myself I kind of liked the eye -- the mysterious expression, the rich colors, the unexpectedness. How it looks just off to the side, as if it's conjuring or dreaming. It's an eye Rembrandt might have painted .... although he probably wouldn't have embedded it in a painful thigh-bruise.

I started to wonder what the rest of her face would look like. I see it as a woman's eye, but how can an eye show gender? It could be a man's eye just as easily. (Although that makes it creepy again. I can't get used to peeing with a man's eye looking up at me.)

I wondered what her story would be, the owner of this eye that looks sad sometimes, disdainful other times, or simply bored if I've worn long pants all day. What stories would this eye tell if it were joined to the rest of its body? What has it seen -- besides a guy in an orange PT Cruiser who might have been trying to look up my skort at my vagina? It looks like an eye that has seen a lot and remembers everything.

So I've come to appreciate my third eye, especially now that the deeper muscle bruise has healed and it doesn't hurt to walk. It's kind of like those people who get Jesus on their piece of toast.

Only my third eye isn't going to make me a saint. It's not a miracle. It's already fading with the bruise it rode in on. And when it's gone, well I'm back to two blue eyes and a photo of the time I spend with the third eye on my thigh. The one that isn't a chakra.


  1. Creepy and kind of awesome. And how did you get this mysterious th(eye) bruise??

    1. Turns out the handlebar of a bicycle can do a surprising amount of damage when it connects hard enough with a thigh.