The eyeball, the organ responsible for the majority of a sighted person’s perception of the world, is a little sack of jelly. Throughout that sack are wired the tiniest, most delicate veins. If an object hurling towards an eyeball happens to be timed so perfectly, if the eye’s owner doesn’t have the impulse to flinch, and if that object achieves a direct hit, the cornea will genuflect backwards like an umbrella caught in a gust of wind, and, now concave, will tap the lens. That tap will leave a bruise of sorts, which will snuff out vision temporarily. As this happens, the iris, the colored part of the eye, a muscle that contracts and relaxes as we move through high and low lights, is damaged, transforming the pupil into a slack, black hole.
But the big problem in the case of an injury such as this isn’t so much the cornea or the lens or the iris — it’s if one of those little vessels pops and spurts blood into that once-balanced space. If that bleeding doesn’t stop, if the pressure within the eye rises beyond a point, the whole thing can burst — aqueous humor oozing down your face, I suppose.
The night we met he wore what appeared to be a women’s rain jacket. He looked like Conan O’Brien and was the loudest man in the bar. After he slept in my bed we spent a manic chilly Easter weekend together. Over hamburgers and beers and in one another’s bedrooms we talked, we talked as if silence would be both our ends. Our talking felt like puking, like good puking, the sort that pours from you with a force that is surprising and pleasing and threatens to overfill the bowl. After that weekend, and after each subsequent night together, I walked home exhausted, and tottering in my heels.