Friday, November 6, 2009

Eye Attack: What the Jalapeño Taught Me

I haven’t been having the best of times lately, and it all accumulated into a climatic finish two mornings ago when I gave myself jalapeño eye. I had cooked late the night before, rather drunkenly I might add, using my fingers to take out the middle part of the spiced out green instead of the knife. I honestly do not know how I got my contacts out that night without severe pain; I remember a slight burn, but nothing freakishly overwhelming. The next morning, hung over and looking rather whitetrashish with my braless tank top and oversized nike sports shorts, I stepped into the bathroom to partake in my morning rituals of peeing, cleaning, brushing etc. I never got to the brushing part. While lazily putting in my right contact I was abruptly shocked awake by an intense burst of spicy directly in my looker. I thought my eye was going to liquefy before me and I would never be able to see again. My contact decided it was going to envelop my eyeball and my eyeball decided it was not going to open again. Ever. Then my nose started running. My throat started coughing. And I couldn’t decide if it would be a good idea to cry or not, though I really really wanted to. I then stuck my face under the sink and made a cold pond of water for my pain to sit in. After about 15 minutes of crying and moaning my eye could stay open long enough for me to finally grab the contact out and throw it away---along with the other one I had yet to torture myself with—and the case itself—to clear away any possible culprits of that continuing another day.

While lying on the couch trying to recover I kept thinking of everything I could be doing if I could see. I couldn’t even watch TV, which is what I would normally do when I’m sick. I couldn’t even get on the computer to complain about my eye. And the lights. They were so bright it was disgusting.

As I mentioned, lately, I’ve been off balance, perhaps a bit tense, anxious, annoyed. Of course, when the jalapeño attacked me my initial thought was “OMG, I can’t even wake up right,” which is how I had started to see my life…a continual movement of failure and insecurity. But the hot shock managed to calm me down some. While in a state of healing I had time to reflect. I decided I needed to cool down, soak in the beauty of the world, not let every little thing get to me because when something really shitty (like a vegetable attack) happens I need to be prepared to take in the pain and let it go. To wear my glasses for a day and look at life from an alternative perspective. And most importantly, I need to laugh. When the old woman at the grocery store yells at me in Polish, when I drop a steaming container of food on the floor, when people won’t move over on the sidewalk, when dishes aren’t clean, when my underwear is falling off my ass, and definitely when foods attack—laughter--or I will die of high blood pressure at 33.

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