I had an uncle with a googly eye.
I was always afraid of him. You were never sure if he was talking to you because when you would look at him that eye was looking at the wall. Or the lamp. Or the dog.
His name was Herold.
I was too little to know to always look at the good eye. That way you would know who he was talking to. No, I was too little to figure that out. So when I looked at him, no matter how hard I tried to look elsewhere, I zoned in on that eye. It was hypnotizing.
One day, Uncle Herold was snow blowing his driveway. His snow blower got jammed with a rock or a chunk of ice or something and he reached in to grab it. Only he didn't turn off the snow blower.
And the snow blower lobbed off a couple of his fingers.
He scooped them up off the driveway and carried them into the kitchen. It all gave Aunt Merle quite a start, Herold standing there holding his fingers and all.
The doctor sewed his fingers back on.
And then he did it again.
It was an accident.
We went to visit him in the hospital and I didn't know where to look then. I didn't want to be rude and stare at the reattached fingers. I didn't want to be rude and stare at the eye. I felt it would be polite to pretend neither existed, so I think I stared at my shoes. Maybe shuffled them around a little, too.
I feel kind of bad about all that now. Like maybe I should have been more accommodating to that eye. And not so weird about the fingers. But heck, I was just a kid then.
And I didn't know any better.