Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My eyes are going--and it feels like fast--so much so that I'm drifting in highway lanes when I switch focus between my ever-weakened left and o'erstrained right; I'm royally squinting whenever I've had fewer than four cups of tea; and I'm entertaining, finally, the prospect of a life with pesky glasses and the pesky shift in identity those will bring about.

The newest insult has been the floaties. As I read, head tilted weirdly to counteract e'er-weakened left, a tiny little eye-mote bounces jauntily over each syllable as though my brain is teaching itself how to sound-out words again. This floating feature of fatigue has become much more common, and it's got half a mind--my floaty does--to organize into a colony of floaties (also known as floatators).

To taunt me, this new group will no doubt begin spelling out the number 30.

Last time I had an eye appointment, the doctor found a freckle in my right eye. I thought I'd been sun-screening my retina properly, but maybe I should have been using a higher SPF. As it is, my multiplying floaties are making me wonder if that sunny freckle-island is breaking up into mole atolls.

So while I'm trying to contemplate the deep complexities of British poetry, I'm forced to think concurrently about freckle-projection, brain trickery, eye blotching, and, very occasionally, I've been known to consider an imaginary young girl, dressed in an over-sized fairy dress, conjuring a tiny insect into my field of vision with her awful wand while softly singing, "Hey ho, Watch the fly, Hey ho, You're going to die."

This image is by Victorian fairy-painter Richard Dadd who, in an improbable verbal coincidence, murdered his father.

British Poetry + Increasingly Magnified Ocular Freckle = Odd Daydreams.

When I do die, I want to make sure there is some reading material in there with me. And some burrowing tool. I'd also like my Ohio University sweatshirt. Some smelling salts (just in case I'm still alive). Raisins. A Ham radio. Two golden chocolate coins for Charon.

And by next year, I'll have added glasses to that list, glasses with quarter-hipster frames and enough wideness to de-emphasize the huge size of my aging face.

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