Eye Patches and Memories

You know how when you think about people you always picture them a certain way? Be it a hoodie they always wear, the haircut they’ve had forever, etc. etc.  I always picture my old landlady with an eye patch on. I actually almost wrote iPatch; this is a full disclosure blog.

Her name was Nancy and she was a very special lady. Her office was across from the liquor store between the door and the elevator, so everyone in the building had to pass her on their way in. She loved small talk, but she was very awful at it and it was awkward for everyone. It was always things like “there is a parking spot available if you need one, I am only telling you this because you’re my favorite”, “tell your roommate I’m not raising the laundry free because she’s my favorite” and random outbursts against illegals.

Her sidekick/only co-worker was this woman named Angelica who had really long nails, like long to the point where they were starting to curl over. Angelica would always have them painted with some pretty fabulous rhinestones. Basically, the two of them together were the best because they clearly didn’t like each other (but I guess it’s also possible that Angelica was also Nancy’s favorite). I would describe them as like the Odd Couple, but this is 2K12 so I am going to say that they were like Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah in Taxi. That comparison is definitely not entirely accurate, I’ve just been thinking about that movie a lot, and bringing it up to make sure that it actually exists. “Hey, remember that buddy comedy with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon? I don’t understand why that happened.”

Anyways, Nancy, eyepatch, liquor store, apartment. I came home after calculus one day at 10 AM, opened the door to the apartment building, felt the feeling of dread of having to conversate with Nancy, passed her office door and actually made an audible sigh of relief. It should also be noted that I really hate small talk, because it’s just so shallow, formulaic and inconsequential. I have strong opinions about things.  So, I was super stoked that I had made it home free and that I could just go back to my apartment and pass out for a few hours. I turned the corner to the stairs and there stood Nancy at the mailboxes, a 60-something lady wearing leggings as pants, one of those 90s gray T-shirts with cats on it and an eye patch.

She proceeded to have an entire conversation with me without ever mentioning why she was wearing an eye patch. I could not tell you a single thing she said because I was so fixated on it. Because not only was she wearing an eye patch, but she was wearing an XXL eye patch and she was wearing it crooked. I just can’t overlook things like that. At least with small talk it’s OK to stare at someone’s face, I think, so I was probably in the clear. So now whenever I think about Nancy, I think about her in that moment, with her eye patch on.

One of my really good friends, and yes, favorite people, lives in that building now. Every time I hang out with him, which is always at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank and always after midnight, I go out of my way to ask about Nancy. Two weeks ago I got a text from my friend saying Nancy was leaving, and all I have to say is that it’s the end of an era, Glen Building.


51 thoughts on “Eye Patches and Memories

    1. ashleyjillian says:

      thanks! I’m not sure if I really like it, it’s a bit of a different style/content type than I usually go for. I guess a bit of going out of your comfort zone is good for the soul, or whatnot.

  1. Laura says:

    I’m leaving a comment here because you’re my favorite.

    I used to know someone who had these really long, slightly curled artificial (porcelain, I think) fingernails. She took sugar in her coffee, and whenever we went to a restaurant together, she’d have to get someone else to tear open the little packets of sugar because her nails got in the way if she tried to do it herself.

  2. Linda Vernon says:

    Good story. I used to live in an apartment building where my old lady downstairs neighbor named Kaliopie, would bring me her leftovers as a jesture of kindness. I’d put it in my fridge and forget about it until she would pound on my door and want her container back and I would quickly dump the leftovers, rinse out the container and hand it back and say I enjoyed it. If only she would have worn and XXL eye patch, life there would have been perfection!

  3. bestbathroombooks says:

    It took an eyepatch for you to leave this bio-epic. You never cease to amaze me. What’s even worse is when someone has one eye that goes off to the side just a little. I can never figure out which eye to look at. At least with the eyepatch, you know to look at the freakish eyepatch.

  4. Rachael Black says:

    Wonderful tale! Cracked me up.
    Don’t know what it is about fixations on the unusual, no really unusual like an XXL eye-patch.
    When my daughter was about 4 we were in line at a store, in a very small midwestern town. She saw a black man and said, at the top of her little lungs ‘Mommy is that man made of chocolate?’
    The thoughts incurred by seeing something new or strange to us never stops, but we do learn manners and learn to embrace the new and different. Well, some of us.

    Landlady’s like this are rare. Treasure the memories. They’ll remind you why we all crave owning our own home.

  5. Patrick Cullen says:

    I really love this story. You have an awesome voice. I remember the odd couple. I also love interesting characters.

  6. the master says:

    Perhaps it’s for the best that you never did solve the mystery of the eye patch, some things are best left alone. After all, for all you know she might have been a Terminator.

  7. Sandi Ormsby says:

    If you had inquired about the eyepatch, were you prepared to hear the long-drawn-out story behind said patch?

    I’m sure there was a reason it was XLG. She had probably scratched her cornea…but, just maybe the entire eyeball pop out in some incredible story! But, you’ll never know now…will ya? I think your next post should be some story of what you THINK happened to her eye. Hmmm… 🙂

    Lake Forest, CA

  8. KP says:

    Congrats! I’ve selected you as one of my Crack Up winners. No this is not a scam! Come on I’m a fellow blogger, would I do that?? Please refer to my Humor Me post @ http://www.opinionatedmommy.wordpress.com for more details. As a recipient of this Oscar caliber award you must follow a few simple rules so as to pay it forward thus keeping your fellow bloggers inspired, and all of their followers laughing! Below are the rules. And by the way, You’re Welcome, my pleasure! KP Now for the aforementioned rules:

    1. Post the LOL (laugh out loud, for you non-texters out there) badge on your blog

    2. Write a post that includes the following:

    a. a thank you to the person who gave you the award (include a link to their blog)

    b. a clean joke or limerick (just look one up and copy it into your post if you don’t know one- it can even be a knock knock joke!)

    c. a list of five other blogs (linked) that you’re giving the award to- so we can find more laughs

    3. Notify the five other blogs that you’ve given them the award and explain to them that they need to copy and paste these instructions on their blog… and complete them

    4. And, I think that’s it. This should be a compliment and simple to do… and help to spread the laughs around.

  9. etomczyk says:

    I fell in love with “Eye Patch.” I was about to write this note about what a really good writer you are and encourage you to “keep it up,” when something said, “why don’t you take a look at Ashley’s credits before you make a fool of yourself :)” Wow! You’re really something, which humbles the crap out of me that you like my stories. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! Cheers! ET

  10. heavyvino says:

    I was fishing about 20 years ago and fell in, soaked head to toe, so I striped down to my undies, on the way home, I was pulled over and was ordered out of the car, to which I yelled I can’t no pants, I did have to get out of the car though.

  11. anembarrassmentoffreedom says:

    Your storytelling is wonderful. You’ve inspired and reminded me of some of the beautiful characters i’ve come across, such as the” plastic bag- nervous lady”. I must write about her for my story collection. Thanks for checking in on my blog too.

  12. joyannaadams says:

    Good piece…funny the people you see every day…

    I wore an eyepatch for a whole year in the second grade. They “thought” that my lazy eye would come somehow straighten out if they put a patch on the good one.

    It didn’t work. They use to put leeches on people to suck blood.
    That didn’t work either.
    Now, they throw trillions of dollars all over the world.
    That’s certainly not working..

    God bless Thomas Edison…most of the stuff he gave us…works. (which is why they are trying to outlaw light bulbs)

    But Ashelyjillian…if you had to pick between the two..the lady with the funky fingernails or the Ipatch lady…which one would you trust?

  13. papermudandme says:

    Damn! I’m tired and can’t think of a thing to say, and when I do my fingers hit the wrong keys so that I’m backspacing so much I forgot what I started to say – oh yeah, love your eyepatch lady. Actually I like all your stories. Anyway, keep up the writing and thanks for reading my stuff. – Blessing and Aloha!

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