The old woman with the glass eye sat on a lawn chair outside her porch for hours each day. I knew this because every morning when I walked to school, she was there, and every afternoon when I came home, her position was the same. I watched her absently for the next few years, and I wondered why she sat there all day, staring into the street. Did she see something out there that everyone else was blind to?
My brother and I talked about it for hours. “She must be widowed.” “She has nothing better to do.” “She is insane.”
One day we decided to find out the truth. After school, my brother and I walked up the driveway to the old woman’s house.
“Mrs. Sole,” I said, though she didn’t so much as twitch. “Mrs. Sole,” I repeated when we were standing beside her. But she didn’t respond, and continued sitting there like a statue. I touched her hand, and it felt like stone. Her eyes were open and still, her real one just as empty and lifeless as the glass one. I realized she was dead.
Casually, my brother touched her glass eye. I was too horrified to react at the time, but now I wonder what he was thinking. Did he wish to take it? Later, would he say to his friends, “This is how I got a woman’s glass eye,” and then tell them the story?
I grabbed my brother’s hand and started to walk away. My pants were wet. I made sure not to look back at Mrs. Sole. If I had ever wished to disturb her, it was too late. Now I would leave her in peace. But in my head I could not stop picturing her sitting in her lawn chair, watching the world advance and move on without her, and then finally drifting into death while nobody paid attention.
I came when they sold the house because I wanted to see if her lawn chair could be moved at all.