Last Friday, I had a lengthy day at work, and made a beeline for the front door the second the clock ticked to 5 p.m. I rushed home, let myself lounge on my bed for no more than 15 seconds, before I bounded into the shower.
I hopped out, and put on two songs: Astronautolus – the River, the Woods, and Queen – Who wants to live forever. I quickly dried my hair, fretted over the style and changed it at least three times before I was satisfied, and then moved on to my makeup. I brushed on a shadow and carefully lined my eyes, smudging them in that rockstar way that many girls try and can’t do. I have a unique skill at creating the smokey eye.
After all this, I sped out the door, silently acting out Freddie Mercury’s heartbreaking cry of “When love must dieeeeee.” No one could hit that note like Freddie, and all the crappy reality shows that make amateurs try, need to cease and desist.
I continued on my evening, and finally ended up heading back to my house with a re-useable sack full of wine, ready to party down the street.
Suddenly, I was struck with a horrific pain in my left eye that crippled me as I was washing my hands in the bathroom. My eye snapped shut, and refused entry to my fingers that blindly stabbed at the source of pain, as my right eye began leaking with what can only be described as sympathy tears.
I cried out for my mother like a toddler who had scraped its knee, and she didn’t come. What was she supposed to do about it?
Eventually I developed a plan; I wedged my eye open despite the pain, wiped away the tears soaking my face in freshly-placed mascara and examined the left eye. In it, was a very long, curled up, black hair, that had obviously come off my own head.
I located a piece of the hair that was resting on my face, and pulled what probably amounted to multiple inches of hair out of my eye.
I thought the saga was over. I continued on my night after mopping up the black smudge that unfortunately reminded me of the many times I’ve been forced to leave my boyfriend at Sky Harbor Airport in Pheonix, Ariz., or at Tampa Bay International, or perhaps Las Vegas…..
Then today, Tuesday, I found myself blinking uncontrollably, as my automatic response tried to correct a desert-like dryness in my left eye. I began to resemble the three-eyed nuclear fish from the Simpsons. I believe his name was Blinky. I blinked all morning, and my co-workers commented on the constant flicking of my eyelashes.
Finally, I escaped at lunchtime, the only thought in my mind was to quench the insatiable thirst that my eye had developed. I picked up some Visine, but laboured in the aisle for awhile. Is it red? Yes. Is it dry? I guess…. Is it cool? No…is it hot? Nooo….. This symptom collection went on for awhile, as I carefully read each and every package of Visine and settled on one that cured redness and dryness, because I couldn’t decide which problem was the worst – the redness or the dryness.
It was all bad.
So, I settled into my car, headed to another store – naturally forgetting about my eye problem – and blinked along until I got back in the car a second time.
Hallelujah! The Visine! I tossed my glasses to the side like a frisbee and began to struggle with the child-proof safety seal for what seemed like a fortnight. Finally like a caveman trying to whittle sticks into fire, I burst open the packaging and hah! I was almost about to feel relief.
I drew back my head, poured in the drops, and blinked through the slight stinging.
Blink. Blink. Blink….ahhhhh.
My eye was finally moisturized. I threw the car into reverse, and was smiling delightedly to myself, when, as I switched into a forward motion, I realized I was blind.
Oh good god, the Visine had rendered me sightless.
I panicked and slammed on the brakes in fear, blocking the parking lot for all the sighted people, as I began to think about my life without sight.
How would I get out of this parking lot? How would I get back to work, or be able to dial my phone (or even find it) for a rescue mission? What about my future? I had planned to join a Zumba class this week – how would I ever Zumba if I couldn’t watch my instructor? And what about my boyfriend – he’s hot! How would I ever see him again? Would he resort to a life of wearing sweatpants and a strange beard with matching mutton chops if he knows I can’t see?
I looked around wildly, testing my vision. My eyes landed on a blurry, black and pink collection of sticks laying haphazardly across what may have been the Visine packaging.
Oh. Wait a minute. That isn’t a collection of sticks, it was in fact, my perfectly fine pair of glasses that I am legally required to use while driving (in Alberta, anyway. Apparently B.C. doesn’t care if you can see or not. Licenses for all!).
I put them on, and politely pulled out of the parking lot. Disaster averted.
For now, anyway.