starts where you would not, usually, and this lets you know that beforehand you had thought nothing much of the compound word. Now that you think about it, was it ever so difficult? To shrink away, shuddering, from the thought of being pricked? But not only that, but to fear something sharp and cold (the terror of which comes really from the fact that it is so small), that is not content to do you harm, but also leaves a mark on you, from the inside out
(Because the truth is that one small dot on the surface means a scarring, deep, into the whole).
My troublesome (and still slightly swollen) right eye. I insist that you insist on being charmed.
‘There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes,’ the doctor tells you, after the thin film of bright yellow light has scanned your eyes and he has folded your eyelids back. ‘There is some swelling,’ he admits and he enumerates the culprits, which, more properly termed, are the details of your lifestyle:
the preservatives in your contact lens solution;
the traces of powder from your face;
and the fact, therefore, that your eyesight has been very bad for quite a long, long time, and that though you are not as blemished (pimply teenager that you were), you need still a touch of concealer and (thank God for the development of your skin into some kind of stability at this time, your early twenties), a light dusting of powder.
The latter you have no problems with, cosmetics are disposable; it is only the contacts solution that would merit real sacrifice, for you cannot wear your slim, compact little eyes, for the next two weeks.
You are told this is natural, as the preservatives are necessary. On the whole, he says, these do not affect your whole body but do your eyes; it is not in the brand but the need behind the preservatives to keep the solution sterile.
That is not what bothers you. After all, you are only morbidly fascinated.
His voice echoes in your mind: There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes.
You imagine now, holes like scars in your cornea every time you lean forward to look at your face in the mirror. You have been wearing contact lenses since you were about twelve or thirteen, and before that you used to play a game when you were much younger, touching the whites of your eyes in your brother’s full-length mirror.
But the thought of pinpricks is new, makes you think what would happen were something to actually prick the human eye, something small, something sharp, something quotidian, and therefore sinister because innocent enough. There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes There are very fine pinpricks in your eyes.
And the only other comfort (aside from the knowledge that now you have Flourometholone to battle it out, one drop each, three times a day, for the next two weeks, leaving a strange taste at the back of your throat—natural, this is all natural) is this – go on, you can read as much as you can, only one other echo does exist in your mind’s eye hears all of this with the anticipation of your new glasses tomorrow.
Imagining life with glasses that are as up-to-date as my contact lenses.
Truth be told, perhaps you were too embarrassed to ask, but your mother who wrote you before you could utter language asked for you, if you could still go on from one word to the other, left to write, up and down.
And to your relief, the doctor replies,
‘There is no limit to the amount of activity of the eye.’
And deeper, more persistent still:
There are very fine pin pricks in your eyes
There are very fine pin pricks in your eyes
But you did not have the courage to ask, if they were as fine and thin and sheer and bright, as the film of light the doctor used to examine your eyes.
Pinprick: according to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (copyright 1997), n. 1: a small puncture made by or as if by a pin. 2: a petty irritation or annoyance.
Otherwise: this Other, as mine, without the wise (copyright 2012), n. 3: another body-betrayal. The truth is he didn’t know the finer details of the diagnosis: the stress of wearing the lenses all day long to work from home, reading at a distance that measures from your corneas to the laptop screen; a peso per word, a puncture per letter, and one more thing to be earned for every space between words on the document you were working on, three weeks before all of this.