open your eye," J says as she stands over me.
"It is open … isn't it?" I reply, though to be honest I can't rightly tell. My right eyeball is currently swimming in the liquid she dropped into it a moment before. Can your eye drown? Mine feels as if it's going under for the third time. And she wants to add more. It's like some refined version of water torture.
J brought the eye drops home because I've been complaining of having a sore eye. Maybe I'm suddenly allergic to cat hair, I don't know. It's been irritated for a while now. But yesterday I had a day at home and the cats were all over me. And this morning when I looked in the mirror the bag under my right eye seems to have turned into a suitcase. It's puffier than a Mary Berry meringue (1). If it gets much worse I'm worried I'll be able to play Two Face in the next Batman movie without the need for make-up.
So J's playing doctor and nurse. I read the instructions. "It says here that you should only use these drops if both your eyes are affected," I point out. "Oh, ignore that," she says as she prepares to assault my vision.
I trust her because, well, she's my wife and I'm presuming she knows better than me. Drip, drip, splosh. And I'm underwater again.
Later we're in a chain restaurant. I'll not tell you the name but you use chopsticks in it. I've never liked it much and I positively hated it the last time, but I guess that's one definition of parental love, isn't it? You end up in places you'd never go to on your own (2). I'm playing with the chopsticks. My right index finger slides between them and I yelp. A skelf. A tiny sliver of wood now lodged in my finger. I spend the rest of the day sucking on said finger attempting to remove said skelf. "What happens if it gets into my system?" I ask J. I have visions of it swirling through my blood stream just waiting to collide with my ventricles. Can a skelf give you a heart attack?
By the end of the day I feel wonkily one-sided. My right eye's sore and my right index finger's sore. It's as if my body is trying to balance me up for my leaky left nostril (3) and my damaged left leg (football injury, you remember). I feel like I'm a catalogue of minor ailments. Better than major obviously, but still …
The next morning I need more drops. I try to doctor myself. But I keep missing.
"Open your eye," J says. "But I can't see," I moan.
"You're such a coward."
She knows me too well.
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