Except in my case, it doesn’t.
Now that I am on the other side of Wednesday, I’ll admit that the April visit to the eye doctor scared me. During that appointment, no matter what combination of lenses he held in front of my eyes, the doctor was unable to correct my vision, so he sent me down the hall for a test I’d never had before. When the tech handed him my results, a printout covered with bright oranges and reds, they both left the room in a hurry. I may be vision impaired, but the look on the doctor’s face was crystal clear. “Houston, we have a problem.”
Returning to the room, he treaded lightly on a (serious) term Keratitis, finishing with: “We won’t worry about that yet,” and sent me home for six weeks of rest and NO EYE RUBBING. After a nasty 24 hours dwelling on every way in which I rely on my eyesight, I packed my worry into a box of denial and waited for my June 9 appointment.
Wednesday I learned that I do NOT have permanent damage to my corneas. My (correctable) vision has returned. "What we have here, is a failure to blink properly."
Who knew there was any other way?
As a result, my eyes remain chronically dry, which temporarily (thank God) changed the shape of the corneas and altered my vision. Assured that the condition is manageable, I submitted to squirts of yellow dye into my eyes, additional drops that stung, examinations under ultra-violet lights and a video of my “blink,” before scheduling a series of follow up appointments with a cheerful receptionist and heading home.
With two hours to kill before my train and the sun warming a clean spring day, I decided to walk across town to the train station, strolling down tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue, past the towering arches of Boston Public Library. Trekking around the vendors lining the edge of Copley Plaza, I crossed Arlington Street into the cool shade of the Public Garden, stopping to watch a gaggle of kids climb onto a swan boat at the lagoon.
Along the way, I entertained myself by smiling at the people who approached me and guessing who would acknowledge me (worker-bees no, tourists, yes). Climbing the inclines of Boston Common, past bronze statues and school children playing an earnest game of Duck, Duck, Goose, I veering through the early lunch crowd at Downtown Crossing and made it to South Station in time to chat with a woman at a pretzel push-cart from whom I purchased a snack before jumping on my train. Upon arrival at my stop, I drove to the supermarket, conversed with the cashier as I purchased milk and returned to my house.
There I caught a look in the mirror.
Folks, those stinging drops back at the doctor's office? Well they must have been blue, because as you know, yellow and blue make green and that’s what color goop had leaked out my eyes, dribbled and dried all the way down to my chin. This was the lovely makeup I wore as I scheduled my additional eye appointments (thank you for telling me receptionist) purchased coffee at Starbucks, grinned like a mad-woman at about a billion people throughout the streets of Boston, yakked to a pretzel vendor and chattered to the clerk at Stop & Shop. You betcha New Englanders are a closed-mouth bunch. In over three hours, no one said a thing.
Do you think if I blink hard enough, say, like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched, I could make that little block of history disappear?
Oh, I forgot. I don’t know how.
Anyone care to match that embarrassing moment of the week?