When I was eight years old I looked at myself in the mirror as I brushed my hair, and began to cry.
My eyes weren’t straight. The right eye turned towards my nose. It had always been that way, but it suddenly seem more pronounced. As a small child I’d never given it a second thought, but as I got older, it bothered me. I took to wearing sunglasses as often as possible to hide it. When my mum re-married and we moved to a new home in North Yorkshire, my eye became a problem. The local boys used to shout ‘Daktari’ when they saw me coming, and nicknamed me Clarence. In the sixties Daktari was a show on TV and the star of that show was a cross-eyed lion called Clarence. I became the cross-eyed lion of the village. It didn’t feel good and I cried myself to sleep most nights. I didn’t want to be different, but most of all I didn’t want to be cross-eyed.
On a routine visit to my doctor something wonderful happened. He asked my mum about my eye.
“We can fix that you know.” he said, “It’s a fairly simple operation and we can straighten her eye.”
“You mean I won’t be ugly anymore?” I asked.
My mum looked at me and burst into tears. I guess she never realized the how badly I felt about my eye. The operation took place about two months later. It wasn’t as simple as they promised. I had stitches in the whites of my eye, which didn’t dissolve, but had to be removed. My eye looked like a piece of raw meat for weeks, but eventually it healed, and it no longer turned into the middle. The boys in the village still called me Clarence, but it didn’t matter anymore.
My ‘not so easy’ life moulded me into who I am today. It also influences the books I write. ‘Dead of July’ is my first full length novel. Give it a try. You can read my the reviews, or purchase the book, by clicking on the book cover below. I’d love to hear what you think of it.