And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it aside.

-Matthew 5:29


Why Justine. Why in the world would you do such a thing.

Words have different weights, they're not all the same. I prefer “sightless.” I dislike the word “blind.” Blind is a thing gathering dust at the window. Men stand in a blind and shoot things from the sky.

Speak. Say something Justine.

I would wait until night when Mother was sleeping, then I wandered the halls with my eyes closed tight. Feeling my way, reading the cool stucco walls with my fingers.

In the darkness I found the most beautiful things. Green-gold butterflies, jewel-covered flowers. Pristine white horses ate poppyseed cake from my hand, and trees bore fruit the purple of kings.

Justine someone called from “The Dr. Phil Show”. What in god’s name is that all about.

My memories are sharp, in high definition. Mother there after school in that white Ford she drives. A Thursday before the long Easter weekend and I have a Nancy Drew book in my lap

Kim Dutra and Bethany Timbers walk by and they wave, and Mother says, Bethany sure is a pretty little girl

Am I pretty, I ask. 

Years seem to pass, and finally she says, well have beautiful eyes.

Two windows, Justine. Two broken windows. Two windows and feces on the front steps and door.

I want to be Nancy Drew when I’m grown. Titian-haired, pretty, a girl who solves mysteries. I want to live in an ink-dark cave or maybe in one of those big water towers, where a fall never hurts and I’m weightless as plankton.

Pariah, Justine. Do you know what that means?

I want to be anything other than me. A stone or a fish or even Kim Dutra. Kim's mother drinks and takes too many pills, and lives in what seems like a gilt-edged stupor. Her father works for Someone and Someone, and Mr. Dutra is going away for a while. Embezzled a small fortune from the S & S firm. From Someone and Someone. Which one is unclear.

Are you happy now? It’s all over the news. Justine. Are you listening? There are news people here...Channel Six...Channel Two...

Kim Dutra’s problems seem...sophisticated, somehow. And no one will ask Kim Dutra, how could you?

In spite of adversity, is what they will say, if she should become a lawyer or a doctor or discover a cure for some spinal disease.

Or because of adversity, they’ll say, if she works the hotels and motels and truck stops, and gives all the dough to a guy she calls “T-Bone” so he can buy gold to put in his teeth.

There are people Justine who would give their right arm for what you’ve thrown away. Say something. Anything. Don’t just sit there Justine.

I stared at the sun, day after day, and when that didn’t work I was miserable, depressed. Then I met Glen. He was older than me but I thought he seemed nice. I was just seventeen. I thought all men seemed nice.

Selfish, Justine, stupid and selfish and people are angry and rightfully so.

He brushed back my hair and put drops in my eyes, and tears streamed down that I thought wouldn’t stop. It burned like hell, but I told myself, Glen knows what he’s doing. He's in medical school. Was, anyway. Was in medical school.

Get out. I mean it. You hear me Justine? I want you out of this house by tonight. Go live with your...what’s his name...Glen...

Kim Dutra fell hard for a heroin dealer. Got hooked, got clean. Back and forth a few times. She’s on methadone now and everyone’s proud.

Glen died some time later in a hash oil explosion.

Mother is somewhere. Where is unclear.

The colors of heaven don't live in the eye. 

That’s what I said when Dr. Phil asked.

Dr. Phil had me on a couple of times.