I once met a once-charming fellow named Barlow. The first time we met, he was interested in something I had to say, but for the life of me now, I can’t remember what it was. What stuck me most about Barlow when I first met him was that his eyes were slightly different shades of green, and the left one was ever so slightly more dilated than the right one. This caused him to squint, causing the laugh lines on his left side to be more pronounced. I actually got to know Barlow quite well, and we’d often meet at the Bay Royal for a few pints of Speckled Hen, where we’d talk about politics and literature. I recall fondly one afternoon when we sat in the beer garden and laughed with futility about the lack of real political choice. I never understood Barlow’s poetry, there was always a hint of esoteric-ness, but his passion for it fed mine and my writing became more considered as a result. One Tuesday morning with Barlow at the Bay Royal, I asked him for his advice about a piece I was writing on how much greener the grass was on the other side. Barlow didn’t look at me but stood and walked to the pool table behind him. He took a cue and without warning, swung it violently, striking me across the face. Calmly, he walked out onto the street, never looking back. This is the story about how Barlow went from being charming to being once-charming, and of how I lost my right eye to that mother fucker. I never saw Barlow again after that day. There are some days I don’t think about him, but they are few and far between, and usually accompanied by cocaine and a street whore named Desiree.