Were My Eyes Red!

I think I had a deer-in-the-headlights moment on a recent morning. When I went to wash my hands and looked up into the mirror, a bizarre monster was looking back at me and I froze. I stared uncomprehendingly, quite unable to make sense of the world for a moment, what glared back at me from the looking-glass was a creature with the strangest pair of burgundy wine-colored eyes I’d ever seen.

digital image from a photo

BOO! [artist’s rendition of conjunctival googly eye]

A quick assessment–possibly including a bit of arm-waving to see if the monster waved back at me in perfect sync or, rather, in reply to my advances–convinced me that I was looking at myself after all. An inexplicably unrecognizable self, but mine all the same.

I wasn’t in pain. There was no horrible itching, no creepy gunk running down my face. None of my limbs seemed to have detached themselves from my torso. I could feel no symptoms of anything untoward at all, and had awakened feeling perfectly dandy, with no sense of impending doom whatsoever.

As it transpired, the red-eyed madness was evidently a friendly reminder that I’d slept the night on a hotel pillow unlike mine. Perhaps the pillow’s stuffing or even, I suppose, the detergent with which the bed linens were laundered, bestowed upon my freakish new beauty by the agency of an allergic spasm of hyper-chromatic hilarity.

The really surprising thing about this whole episode is the series of alarms it set off in recognition that I often, well, don’t recognize the perfectly obvious in front of me until its moment has already passed. Ah yes, those many times when I’ve sat talking with a person and not realized until later just whose presence I’d taken for granted–whether an acquaintance I’d not recognized thanks to my prosopagnosia, a celebrity I’d not recognized by failing to connect name or title or other clues, or any other person I’d not fully appreciated in the moment. It’s a pity we are sometimes so blind to who or what is right in front of us that we don’t recognize how fantastic our lives really are, and how much richer for the company we keep.

If I need further periodic reminders, I hope the great people who are around me will kindly give me the needed nudge. So very much kinder and cheerier a nudge than, say, the appearance of an alien in the mirror. And lest I have failed to make it clear to you, this is also my time to say Thank You and express my appreciation to all of you good people who do give me the time of day, regardless of my thick-headedness or my bleary red eyes.

graphite drawing

Oh deer, what can the matter be?

17 thoughts on “Were My Eyes Red!

  1. Oh, that’s scary! You took a lovely message from it, though, as you tend to do, Kathryn. It is cold and dark where I live, now, and it’s turning me into a bit of a codger – ever focused on what should be happening instead of celebrating what actually is. Thank you, sweet lady, for the reminder 🙂

    • Indeed it did, thanks. You know, Rumpy, given how unprecedented this was, I was considering whether I mightn’t do best by seeing a veterinarian for treatment. Glad that I didn’t have to seek out any medical help, as it happened. 😀

  2. Oh my, I think I would have had a screaming fit had I seen my eyes look like this Kathryn. I am so pleased to hear it is only an allergic reaction which I hope is all clear now.
    It’s strange how we can often have delayed reactions – seems I am in the same club as you.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. Glad to read that it wasn’t serious, Kathryn. Just the thought of having one’s sight compromised is terribly upsetting. Finding one’s eye that color is downright frightening.
    When I was still working at the bar, I was at home and when I got some sawdust in my eye that scratched my cornea. I was given some drops and told to wear an eye patch. I had to work that night and it so happened to be Halloween. No one, my co-workers included, said a word about my eye patch. It was only the following night, when I came to work still wearing the patch, did I learn that everyone thought the patch was my cheap attempt at a costume. Forget about not getting the customary sympathy reserved for such occasions. I was most offended that they thought me so lacking in creativity that a black eye patch was the best I could do for a costume. 😦

    • I think it’s just a lovely serendipity to get a no-fuss Halloween costume out of what had threatened to be a grim event in total. Your friends may have merely lacked imagination at the moment.

      My only occasion for wearing an eye patch thus far had its own bit of serendipity. When I was preparing for my master’s thesis art exhibition with my two companion grad students, who had become in the two years very dear friends (family, really), one of them (named John, come to think of it) was packing for the post-graduation return to Australia and his daughter tossed him a magazine that smacked him in the eye, so he was sent home from the doctor’s wearing an eye patch. But since we’d all agreed to upgrade our show’s opening reception from a boring stroll-around to a costume party, we just upgraded our three getups with matching eye patches. John in his used car salesman loud plaid sportcoat and red slacks and white belt and shoes; Russell in his three piece banker suit with a homemade cardboard top hat, and me in my custom made all-plastic ball gown, all wearing our black eye patches as suavely as could be. Oh, and the art was of course spectacular. 😉

  4. Pingback: Crazed Weasels and Other Objects of Affection | kiwsparks

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