Wednesday, June 12, 2013


For about six days after my eye surgery, my stomach did its best to steal some of the attention back from my eyes.  Oh yes, power nausea . . . and projectile vomiting.  For six days, I was one fun lady (please be sure to admire the stellar sarcasm).  And my roommate Debra, bless her heart, willingly held my hair out of my trajectory and emptied/cleaned my basins (I had a two-basin rotation going during the worst part of it).

On the second day after surgery, the vomiting was particularly powerful — so powerful, in fact, that one rather awful heave actually popped a stitch in my right eye.  I will pause my narrative politely so that you may gag as needed.  Yes, that eye was very picturesque after that, as Debra shudderingly informed me.

And that is how Brutus came into my life.

The popped stitch resulted in a long (about 1 cm) strand of suture coming free on one side but remaining anchored on the other.  I know it's well anchored because twice now, at approximately 4 am,  when all forms of behavior seem quite logical, I have grasped it with tweezers and attempted to gently yank it out of my eye.  Fear not, I stopped when I felt resistance (I'm just as grossed out by eye stuff as the majority of you).  And so, for three weeks now, this loose suture has taken up residence in my right eye.  Since he has no immediate intention of leaving, I felt that naming him was appropriate.  And no name was more imminently suited to him or our relationship than that of Brutus.

Imagine, if you will, the feeling of an eyelash stuck in your eye.  Now imagine that the eyelash is made of steel wool and is bound to you with greater dedication than most Hollywood marriages.  Yes, that is precisely my relationship with Brutus.  He likes to do aerobics and yoga, being a rather spry fellow, so there is never a chance to get used to him in any position.  Thus, my eye constantly itches, aches, and waters.  Many nights, I am unable to sleep because there is nothing capable of distracting me from Brutus's late-night calisthenics.  I get by with naps, but I really miss sleeping an entire night.  Some nights, I don't fall asleep until 7:00 or 8:00 am.  I methodically scan the eye in the mirror multiple times per day, assessing whether or not Brutus has loosened himself enough on the anchored end to get out the tweezers again.  So far, he is remaining stubbornly fixated.

Et tu Brute?

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"