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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Blind and the Bristly

Up top, it’s another Braves communique over at Bugs & Cranks:

Braves, Marlins Play Series in Bizarro World — Whatever could go weird, did go weird.

And down bottom, it’s more of the usual silliness. Bon appetit.

Sometimes, being blind as a bat without corrective lenses can be a real pain in the ass. Or in this case, the forehead.

I was stumbling through my morning routine today when I reached the bit where I put in my contact lenses. The general idea is to glom one onto each sticky eyeball, then wrangle them around until they’re more or less covering the bits of my eyes that do the actual seeing.

(I realize for you non-contact wearers, that’s some pretty technical optometrical jargon. See what we have to live with every day?)

“I can’t remember all the curse words I know at eight-thirty in the morning, but washing a contact down the sink will conjure up an awful lot of them.”

Occasionally, the procedure doesn’t go as planned, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes — due to lack of humidity or proper sleep — my eyeballs aren’t quite as adhesive as usual, and the contacts fall right off. A little water on the lenses usually takes care of it. I suppose a dose of Elmer’s in the eyeball might work, too — luckily, we don’t keep the glue in the bathroom, or I’d have probably tried it by now.

Sometimes, there’s a bit of lint or fuzz or dog dander on the lens, so when it gets properly centered, flames of throbbing teary ouchies shoot up my optic nerve into my tender brain. Then I stand at the sink, blinking furiously and waving my little hands around like a six-year-old who’s just heard the ice cream truck. I don’t think any of that helps, per se, but after a few minutes the pain subsides enough to get the stupid thing off my eyeball and clean it up.

Then there’s the thing that happened this morning. Sometimes, I drop the lens. The dropping part is inevitable — at that time of the morning, we’re all a little clumsy and shaky and mostly hungover. And after twenty years of wearing — and fumbling — contacts, I’ve learned a lot about how to compensate for droppage and not lose the lens. For the past few years, I’ve been careful to hold and apply the lenses only over the sink, to avoid spending an hour on all fours in my underpants, sweeping my face back and forth three inches from the tiles of the bathroom floor.

(I do quite enough of that already, thank you. See ‘mostly hungover’ above.)

And for the past few months, I’ve also made sure that the trap on the sink is closed, so that when I do drop a lens, I don’t have to watch it blurrily circling the basin and *whoosh*-ing down the drain. I can’t remember all the curse words I know at eight-thirty in the morning, but washing a contact down the sink will conjure up an awful lot of them.

Still, these precautions don’t protect me from the most dangerous part of dropping a contact lens — the looking. My searches are largely confined to the sink these days, but when you can barely see past your eyelashes, that’s plenty enough room to get yourself into trouble.

Like this morning. I grabbed a lens, raised it a few inches towards my beady peepers, and lost it somewhere in the sinkal area. I leaned in close to peer at the porcelain, looking for any sign of the lens on the lam. Out of the corner of one eye, I thought I saw a glint, and quickly jabbed my head over and down to investigate.

And rammed the center of my forehead into my electric toothbrush. Hard.

I found the lens, and managed to finish getting ready. But do you know how hard it is to explain angry bristle bruises on your face to a set of coworkers? I do. At first, they were ready to call in the cops — they thought my wife had been beating me with a hairbrush or broom or something. Finally, I convinced them that I’d been in a pet store last night, and had an unfortunate run-in with a hormonal hedgehog.

I just hope they bought it. The last thing I need is for the cops coming around and punching holes in my cover story. I might have to make up a new tale about falling under a street sweeping machine. Or sell out my wife and say she really did beat me. Anything’s better than the truth. Jesus.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “The Blind and the Bristly”

  1. Kerry says:

    this is why i’m happy enough to wear glasses. besides which, i can’t stand the thought of sticking something in my eye. ewww…

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