I keep absentmindedly rubbing the inside of my eye. Not the INSIDE, it's not like I'm rooting around in my optic nerve. I mean the part around the tear duct. Probably I mean "the tear duct." This move then activates mysterious Itch Receptors all around the inside rims of my eyelids and subsequently I want to spend the rest of the day scratching at my eye-coverings with a shrimp fork. What kind of fucked-up god or Science Devil decided this was a good plan, to make the tear-duct area so exquisitely sensitive to any kind of rubbing/scratching/poking? All it takes is the least pressure with my finger or knuckle or dog nose and then JUST LIKE THAT mascara is running into my cleavage while I claw at my face. I can't remember if this happens all the time or it's some kind of allergy-related itchiness. Has it happened my whole life? My brain has cleared all the eye-scratching memories right out of my head. It's like there have been more important things!
I do clearly recall the time I scratched my cornea, because you don't forget a thing like that. I still maintain that my corneal scratch was more painful than childbirth. Certainly less rewarding. Absolutely nothing to show for it at the end. Except for an infection a couple of months later, which was just as painful and decidedly un-cute.
How did I scratch my cornea, you may be asking? Here is the true answer I gave to every medical professional I dealt with that day: I poked myself in the eye. With my finger. The entire story is that I was trying to get something out of my eye when my cat startled me, but the cat detail didn't seem important. I can't blame the cat for this genius move. The fact is, when your finger is already resting against your eyeball, you should concentrate. And really, what could the cat have been doing that was really so alarming? I can't even remember. This was a cat we had long ago. She's dead now, and cannot answer my questions. Even if she had leapt off the armoire and sailed past me like a flying squirrel I should have at least REMOVED MY FINGER before turning to see what she was up to.
This actually looks like something my old cat could have done. She was kind of flappy.
Speaking of eyes, which it appears I am doing, my sister tore her retina a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't anything she did or (fortunately) anything I did (I would really hate to have injured someone else's eye with my wayward fingers); apparently this can just…happen. Bodies! They are totally fucked.
She had to have emergency futuristic laser-cat surgery (except without cats) and then, you guys, THEN. Then she was instructed to not move her eyes for a week. A WEEK. I still cannot get over this. The period has already come and gone and I am still talking about it to anyone who will listen. No eye movement for a week! She could not: read, email, Internet-browse, cook, use a phone, or take a walk. All she could do was watch television (from a distance), and, I guess, stare into space. Probably she could also bathe. BUT NO READING THE SHAMPOO BOTTLE. No reading! At all! Do you know how much daytime television she had to watch? How many Dove commercials about the perils of discolored armpits? Do you think this caused permanent emotional scarring because I DO. It scarred me, and I only had to hear about it.
I called Liz a few days into her no-eye-moving trial and I was like WAIT A MINUTE WHAT ABOUT RAPID EYE-MOVEMENT. How do you control your dreams, Liz?! And then she had to explain to me that the goal was to minimize movement as much as possible, that of course some movement was inevitable, and I breathed into a paper bag and we were both okay.
And then my eye started itching again. I wasn't going to call her back to update her on this itching situation. But then I realized she had nothing better to do than to listen to my problems, and anyway she shouldn't watch that much Kathie Lee and Hoda. And the moral of this story is that I am a really, really good sister.