I just had a great time at Home Depot talking about lightbulbs with a guy named Larry. No, I mean it. He was one of the employees, and I noted he was a little odd looking when he first walked up, but only figured out he was blind when he stuck his whole face down into the lightbulb socket of the weird Ikea lamp I’d brought with me. I said, “Feel inside the light, it feels like there’s a place for prongs as well as threads to screw a bulb in,” and he looked a little relieved that I’d given him an out to use touch instead of faking that he could see anything in there. We puzzled over the lightbulbs for a while, and then he figured out what bulb fit. I thanked him enthusiastically.
He leaned in and said conspiratorially: “I’m blind in both eyes.”
I said, “Yeah, I figured that out.”
“What gave me away?”
“The part where you couldn’t see?”
Then he said: “Last week there was this woman who was totally in a hurry and hassling me to help her, and I was going just as fast as I could, but then she asked me another question when I was looking for something with my head down. So I whipped my head up and my glass eye flew out. MAN. Then I had to go find my eye, and it was all in the dust and everything…” I said, “What’d the woman do?” “Oh yeah, well, she left. Just took one look and NRRRRROOOOOM out of here.”
So I told him about my mom teaching a little girl who had two glass eyes. They had to find transportation for her to school other than the school bus, because she kept freaking out the bus driver. They’d load her into the bus, get on the road, and when they got to school, the bus driver would turn around to help the little blind girl out and the girl, every time, had taken both her eyes out and put them in her mouth, where she was rolling them around. The driver would have to figure out how to get her to spit out the eyes without choking on them or biting them, and then somehow get them back in her head, and it was just too much outside the bounds of a normal school bus driving job description.