Today I returned to the office on the ground floor of the medical building. The place is so familiar to me, with the smell of the chemicals used to polish artificial eyes that hits your nostrils the moment you enter.. The smell may be strong, but the leather couches are just as comfortable as I remember them.
This took me back to myself as a twelve-year-old girl. I was scared, sitting in the chair, but out of pain finally.
What was going to happen?
I thought about the past, today, as I sat waiting for him to return with my artificial left eye.
It is an indescribable feeling. I tilt my head back slightly so my artificial eye can be removed. I still shudder at this thought.
It feels odd to even myself as he slides out the prosthesis and I am left with nothing but the place holder inside where my real eye once was.
It was being attacked by an unknown and unnamed virus of some sort. The doctors and specialists could not diagnose and the pain just would not stop.
Removal seemed like the obvious choice. I did not have to think about it for long and the surgery took place within a week.
Now eighteen years later and I can’t believe how long ago that was. So much has changed and I am no longer that little girl.
Six years ago was when I had a second eye made. They recommend making a new one every six to eight years.
My sister and brother were there, in place of my parents. My brother, with his photographer’s eye, stood in the room as the eye was skillfully made, formed and molded, fit and refit and resized until it fit just right.
This was a unique photo shoot, but one well worth capturing.
On this throw-back Thursday I still shudder at the thought of no eye there at all. It’s in my own head and I can barely stand to have anything to do with it. I don’t touch and don’t remove it if I absolutely do not have to.
Last time it was not in its place, where it should remain, was a few years back, one early morning when I rubbed a little too hard and it fell.
This isn’t easy for me to speak about. Something still makes me want to distance myself from my own eye, but I can’t. I can’t get away from it and most times I would not know anything different.
But when I am required to let this ocularist examine his creation, I sit alone in an examining room by myself and I wonder.
This still grosses me out. I feel somehow less feminine and like a freak, but why?
It’s fascinating even, depending on who you ask. Some may be grossed out too.
How can I expect everyone else to be totally fine with it when I myself never quite have been?