Eyelash

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3 responses to “Eyelash

  1. stewartparker

    “Just close your eyes and blow.”
    “What?”
    “You heard me, just do it,” she said.
    We were sitting on the edge of the dock, bare feet dangling, the summer-warmed lake lapping at our toes.
    “But I don’t get it.”
    “You don’t have to get it. Why won’t you just trust me?” she queried.

    It was the last day of our family’s summer vacation. When I was younger, I had looked forward to these trips. One whole week where my dad would not have to work, and we could escape to the lake. No homework. No chores. Every day a new adventure.

    I had met her our first summer here. Her family owned the cabin a couple miles down. The first time I saw her, she was chasing their golden retriever down by the water, faded jeans rolled halfway up her calves, a pink scarf tied loosely in her hair, and that carefree smile only children have.

    She was younger then. We both were. And in those uninhibited years before these things matter, we had done everything together. She had thrown rocks and carved driftwood and hunted minnows in the shallows with me. I had played tea party, and bathed her dolls, and even let her put her mom’s makeup on me once.

    But this summer had been different. We still spent a lot of time together, but we had both changed. Part of me had not even wanted to come. Family time had become a burden. I was more interested in sports and friends than counting stars and listening to the same old stories by the fire.

    And then there was her. Only recently had I begun to see girls as anything but a nuisance, telling on you for making faces when the teacher was not looking, not as good at kickball, and always preferring to sit around reading far-fetched girl detective novels to doing anything fun.

    She was hardly a girl anyway, not in the way the girls at school were. She could cut an earthworm in half with her thumb nail without even flinching, she burped louder than I did, and she was just…her.

    I could not put my finger on what exactly had changed. She was a little bit taller, but her hair was still the same. She even wore a lot of the same clothes, but they seemed different too in ways I could not exactly explain.

    “Just close your eyes, make a wish, and blow.”
    “And then what?” I asked.
    “Then you hope it comes true.”

    I could still feel a burning where her finger had pressed the eyelash from my cheek. When she gently passed it from her fingertip to mine, I thought my heart would melt. What was wrong with me? We had touched before, playing “Miss Mary Mack,” or arm wrestling, or casually a hundred times for no reason at all. But something told me that there would be no more casual touches between us.

    “And you really believe that?” I asked.
    “Of course I do.”
    “I still don’t know.”
    “I wish you would.”
    “Is that your wish?” I questioned.
    “That’s not the way it works,” she said.

    So I closed my eyes, and felt her there, still the same girl, the same smile. I wished that the summer would never end. That we would never grow up. That she would hold my hand, and we could sit there until forever.

    I opened my eyes and blew.

    “What did you wish for?” she asked. Playfully. Solemnly.
    “I can’t tell you, or it won’t come true.”
    “Oh, you’re making up the rules now?” she teased.

    But the way she looked at me, I knew that she knew. And as her fingers slipped awkwardly between mine, we turned our gaze across the lake to where the sun was just beginning to go down. And for a moment it all came true. If only for a moment.

  2. Surly Temple

    “Nope,” she thought. “I don’t want to see. It’ll make just make me angry. It’s better that I not look, lest eyelash out.”

  3. Karen P.

    I have always been a sucker for guys with long eyelashes. I don’t know what it is. Do I subconsciously assume them to be more feminine, and therefore sensitive? Do long lashes evoke some sort of involuntary, evolutionary response (“yes, yes, mate with him, your offspring will easily weather any…sandstorm. An invaluable hereditary trait, particularly in the suburbs of Boston”)? Or is it just a simple case of pseudo-eyelash-envy (my own poor lashes would be hard to spot with a magnifying glass, a spotlight, and about a gallon of super thick lash mascara)?

    I don’t know that they are any more sensitive. Most guys with long eyelashes don’t even know they have them, and once you tell them, it only gets worse. They wield them like a sword, rendering fellow long-lash-seekers (girls, you know you are out there) utterly defenseless. And if they have deep, blue eyes and long, dark lashes (that rarest of creatures) we are literally at their mercy. Ahhhh, we can’t help ourselves.

    Is it evolutionary, as in the Darwin sense? I don’t know. It certainly seems to elicit something primal sometimes. Especially when he looks at you just so, and his eyes take on a certain sparkle (they all seem to capture that same sparkle), and he gives you that winning half smile, the perfect combination of really caring and not trying too hard.

    Maybe I am just jealous. It isn’t fair. I would kill for those lashes, and he just gets to walk around with them. Unconcerned. Unknowing. Unappreciative.

    But they aren’t all insensitive. The sweetest guy I have ever known matches just that description. Looking into those long-lashed eyes, I felt like I was the only person in the world. But then, he had the lashes. And he knew he had the lashes. So maybe I’m the biggest sucker of them all.

    And maybe I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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