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Online Feature: “Cyclops” by Teresa Milbrodt

 

Usually cyclops babies don’t live very long.  This is why you never hear about them, why the cyclops woman is the only one to have reached thirty.  Two people besides her parents know she has just one eye—the family ophthalmologist and the midwife who delivered her in her parents’ bedroom.  Her mother wanted to keep the process as natural as possible, worried about strange things drugs were supposed to do to newborn babies.

The cyclops woman’s father makes her wear a shade, a crescent-shaped sunglasses lens that fits around her head, so the world looks a little dark to her.  Her father’s world is also getting darker.  His glaucoma is worsening and the ophthalmologist says he’ll be blind in a matter of months.  He won’t stop working, though.  At the counter of Drogo’s, the family coffee shop, he explains to customers that his daughter wears the shade because she has a condition that makes her extremely sensitive to light.

I think it’s very becoming, says Cynthia Liss, one of the regulars.  She says the eyes are the most intimate part of the body and the shade lends an air of mystery like Japanese women with their fans.

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