The Bleeding Eyeball
it's an orangy sky
always it's some other guy
it's just a fuckin' lullaby
You're not going to believe this, but in the middle of a very long losing streak I turned down sex with an attractive woman on Saturday and said “no” to two hookers on Monday.
I was puttering around the house, washing clothes and dishes and drinking coffee and listening to MP3s when the phone rang. It was Crazy Debbie. What was I doing? I said I was straightening up the house and drinking coffee. “You by yourself?” I replied in the affirmative, having gotten rid of both Amy and Tami. She said she was going to Felbers, the tavern I couldn't remember the name of in another journal, next door to Floyd the Barber. Would I join her for a beer?
Debbie's a good looking woman. That is, she would be if it weren't for the crazy hair and the way she doesn't know how to apply makeup properly.
She wasn't wearing any makeup. And she was buying me beer.
And I drank too much of it. We wound up in my living room passing a joint. Then somehow my hand was in her pants.
I was going to get lucky. And then... I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I got a bad case of the willies and took her home, and didn't have the sex she so very obviously wanted me to give her.
I'm not sure what it was that scared me off, but some-thing I can't quite put my finger on told me if I had sex with this woman my already increasingly unpleasant life was going to take a very unpleasant turn for the worse. I took her home.
What was really weird was that she freaked me out so much I didn't even feel horny any more, even though I didn't have sex and hadn't had any for quite some time. I'm still trying to figure it out.
The rest of the day is hazy in my mind; I had a couple of shots somewhere that I can't remember, and I'm told by two people I was at JW's that afternoon.
I don't remember being there. That scares me; I think I'll stop drinking, at least for a while.
I owed “Ralph” ten bucks and as I was paying him, it seemed I was twenty bucks poorer than I should have been and couldn't figure out where it went. Later I remembered that I'd been at a new pizza place with Crazy Debbie.
I went and shot a game of pool with Linda. I think it was at the Blue Grouch but I'm not sure, I was fucking wasted.
Then, my hazy memory tells me I was drinking with Tami at my house, and she told me later we did some unintentional four wheeling in a muddy field in the ghetto after having a flying car for a couple of seconds. They told me I'd have a flying car in the twenty first century! I don't remember that, either. The car seems to be none the worse for the incident.
Sunday I slept late. Very late. I went to Farley's and drank a single beer, JW's for another single beer and talked with Mike for a while, and wound up at home that evening. Sunday was uneventful.
Monday was President's Day and I didn't have to work. I was looking forward to another day of sleeping late.
Like Arthur Dent on Thursdays, I don't do Mondays very well. This one started with someone banging on the door at the crack of dawn.
“Who is it?”
She said her name – it was Bighead, the skinniest woman I ever met with the smallest tits I've ever seen. And the last time I'd seen her she'd stolen fifteen bucks from me.
“Open the door!”
“Go away! You sold the best friend you could have ever had for fifteen bucks.”
“What are you going to do, have your girlfriends beat my ass?”
“They wanted to, I saved you from an ass beating.”
“Open the door!”
“Open the door!”
I ignored her and eventually she went away.
Later, coffeed up and in a good mood, my day was ruined when “Kathy” (not her real name, of course) called with an offer that would would have made me twenty dollars richer. She wanted to use my house as a whorehouse.
This hurt. Here I hadn't been laid in like forever and a woman wanted to fuck another man in my house. I turned her offer down and went to Farley's, where the day got marginally better – they had free food. Walleye, pasta salad, potatoes, cake, I don't know what else.
Later I dropped by Ralph's, and his girlfriend's daughter “Missey” was there. She's a kid, only nineteen, two years younger than my youngest daughter. She pulled me aside into the bedroom and closed the door.
“Somebody said you wanted to try ecstasy? My guy's in jail but I can get you some when he gets out.” I admit I am curious; I don't think they had ecstasy back in my days as a drug-addled young hippie in the late '70s. Guys? Tell me?
Linda and I made plans to go shoot some pool, and I sat and watched the evening news with Ralph. Halfway through the news I saw a snake. It wasn't Bighead, and it wasn't the DTs.
I knew this snake. It was the black snow snake.
My left eyeball was bleeding internally, with snakelike objects inside it and a shower of black snow that got thicker and thicker.
My good eye. The eye with the implant that makes me, by dictionary definition, a cyborg. The eye I spent a shitload of money on. The eye that's better than 20/20.
I hurried home to put a contact lens in the other eye, which is about 20/400 without the lens. I hadn't been wearing the contact lens, relying on the eye with the implant that makes my friend Tom call me the “six thousand dollar man”, a play on the six million dollar man from the old TV show.
A year ago last December I suffered a torn retina. I found a very good specialist who welded it mostly back together with a laser, but the implant I have in that eye is on struts so it can focus, unlike older implants. He couldn't reach the whole tear with the laser beam so he had to finish the treatment with an older method, which involves supercooling a metal probe with liquid nitrogen and holding it to the sclera, the white of the eye, opposite the tear.
If I'd been strapped to a chair at Guantanamo when they did that I'd have confessed to anything.
The place where the tear had been has let loose bleeding inside my eyeball several times since then, the last time being last June or July. The symptoms of the bleeding are the same as that of a torn retina, so of course whenever that happened I hightailed it to Dr. Odin, my retina specialist. He was on vacation, so the office referred me to another specialist at one of the local hospitals where the guy was training an intern.
“And there's where a cryotherapy was done... oh, that's right on a major nerve. Man, that really had to hurt!”
I've never in my life heard more of an understatement. Women bitch about the pain of childbirth; well, let Dr. Odin stick that supercooled metal probe on a major nerve on their eyeball and see how resistant to pain they are!
I met “Larry” and “Ralph” and “Missey” and Linda at the Blue Grouch, where Linda kicked my ass on the pool table royally. I was used to using the cybernetic eye, and now was using the other eye instead, with a contact lens in it. I think I got one ball in. Linda was very pleased with herself!
I've not been wearing the contact; the eye with the contact lens bled internally once, a couple of months ago, and I kind of stopped bothering to put the contact in. I've thought about changing my sig as a result, but once again I'm three eyes, even though one of them isn't working. Kind of like one of Zaphod's heads in the BBC TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The one that looks like it's made of paper maché.
Speaking of aliens, as I was driving home from the Blue Grouch to get an early bedtime, Tami called. Her alien husband had left her again and she needed a friend. As I was going to need a driver to get home from the eye doctor the next day, I picked her up, bought her a half pint of whiskey and listened to her whine about her husband, before letting her crash on the couch. I fell asleep in the other room to the sound of her crying.
At work Tuesday the first thing I did, of course, was get on the phone to Dr. Odin's office. True to the last few days, nothing was going my way at all. The doctor was in Decatur, and they had me come in around nine. The doctor I saw couldn't see anything inside my eyeball, which didn't surprise me one bit since I couldn't see anything outside of it.
Last night Tami talked to her Peruvian husband, who'd been thrown out of his girlfriend's house. Knowing that asshat she probably caught him fucking a different woman. Tami sold him a key to their apartment for drinking money.
I went back in this morning to see Dr. Odin, and sat down next to a not bad looking, garrulous woman who delight-ed in striking up a conversation with me. Of course, the conversation only lasted about two minutes since they got me right in to see the doctor, who did a sonogram on my eye. It appears the retina is intact, and my vision should clear back up in a month or so. I go back to see him next month.
I cooked some omelettes for Tami and myself and took her back to her apartment after the dilation eyedrops wore off.
I forgot to mention that the doctor said that I face the possibility of further eye surgery, a Vitrectomy, if the eye continues its periodic bleeding.
Do NOT look that up on Wikipedia if you are squeamish! It leads to the article on vitrectomy, and has a very ugly nasty photo of an eyeball undergoing the procedure.
The good outweighed the bad, however. First, as the bleeding episodes seem to be more and more rare he may not have to do the surgery, and second, it would stop the bleeding (and periodic blindness) for good as well as completely eliminating the “floaters” in that eye.
Feb 20, 2008