The “I”s Have It—Not!
As I wrote in an earlier posting, the amount of debris cluttering up the inside of my eyeballs seems to be increasing of late. My “flying flies” apparently have found time to do a bit of in-flight breeding and their offspring show no sign of leaving home.
Anyway, I made an appointment with the ophthalmologist and within two weeks I was driving to the eye clinic in another suburb. It’s supposed to be a 23-minute trip by expressway but considering the hour (8 a.m.) I decided to avoid the rush hour expressway crowd and take a less congested route instead on some familiar main streets. I planned the route ahead of time but, alas, “the best laid plans . . .”
Just a few miles from home traffic came to a near dead halt. Construction on this particular road has been going on and slowing traffic for at least a year and now I was being held up by a four-way-stop intersection. (I knew I should have brought a book.) As time dragged by I kept checking the clock. 20 minutes until my appointment. 19 minutes. 18. 17. This is the traffic I was trying to avoid on the expressway. Why aren’t all these cars there where they belong?
Time and Punishment
By the time I arrived at the clinic it was 8:50—ten minutes late. I signed in and headed for the nearest ladies’ room. Those three morning glasses of water and that cup of coffee were really backed up by now.
The receptionist handed me a clipboard with several pages of boxes and blanks to be checked and filled, including about half a dozen for my signature. (I did all this when I was here three years ago but they must have misplaced my file.) I completed my writing assignment and sat down to work one of the crossword puzzles I had brought along.
Apparently the staff didn’t appreciate latecomers and decided to punish me by not calling my name for an hour and a half. By then I had made a second trip to the ladies’ room and was well into my second crossword. (I was beginning to think of a few cross words myself by then.)
F E L O P Z D, 1,2 (Huh?)
At last a pleasant young technician escorted me to an examining room and rotated me through a succession of eye screening devices designed to measure my orbs from every conceivable angle. Then she had me roll my eyes this way and that, read from an eye chart projected on the wall, and count her fingers while looking at her ears. (That part was easy because the most she held up was two; she must have as much trouble with math as I have.) After that she doused my eyes with some nasty amber-colored drops followed by some clear ones and told me to go wait some more.
Eventually I was called into another exam room where the doctor had me look first at one of his ears and then the other—What’s with these people and their ears?— while he blinded me with bright lights. “I have good news,” he announced cheerfully. He told me my eyes were responding perfectly and that I wouldn’t need new glasses. I have very small cataracts, he added, but wouldn’t need surgery for several more years. As for my “flying flies/floaters”, well, I’d just have to live with those.
On my way out I hit the ladies’ room again (I have great kidneys). As I waited my turn I took notice of all the art hanging on the walls. Each one was some form of abstract painting made up of streaks and swaths of varying widths, horizontal and vertical, in colors light, dark, and pastel. Personally, I prefer classical art depicting actual people and objects; I like to understand what I’m looking at.
As I looked at this collection, however, it suddenly occurred to me that these works must be another form of eye test. Think of it: If after all the eye rolling, chart reading, drops, and bright, blinding lights you still know which way is up or sideways, you’re fit to drive back home. Just don’t forget your sunglasses. Fully dilated pupils and bright sunlight don’t mix well. Besides, driving with your eyes closed kind of defeats the whole purpose of the eye exam.
WES © 2011, The Wit’s End Scribbler