On Friday, I experienced an alien abduction.
Not like the UFO kind, with little green men and probes, that would be ridiculous.
No, this is one I inadvertently signed up for.
All I wanted was to be able to see again. Since I was 10, I’ve been going steadily blind, to the point that, without some sort of corrective wear, the big letter on the vision test is a somewhat grey blur to me that suggests that there is in fact something on the screen, but it’s anyone’s guess what it is.
So I asked the Mad Scientist Guild for new eyes. They were hesitant at first. They said my eyes were not ready. That they lacked characteristics they sought for applicants.
I’m sad to say I fell into their trap.
I pleaded. I begged. I set date limits. And they oh so grudgingly allowed it, like they were doing me a favor.
Which led to be being swabbed with Iodine on Friday night, hospital booties over my work shoes, shower cap on my head. I was led, blind, to an operating theatre with a teddy bear on the bed. I was ushered forward, the toy thrust into my hands as bright lights became the only sensation. Then, I was fitted with The Clockwork Orange style anti-blinkers and my eyes were water-boarded.
“It might get a little dark,” the surgeon said. And I found myself in utter blackness.
“Find the green light,” he taunted me from the abyss.
Frantically I searched, hoping to see a light, anything, really. Hoping I hadn’t made a mistake. It returned. The green light, surrounded by its distracting red brothers, became my touchstone. A disembodied voice called out numbers and words whose meanings I could not discern, as there were not sensors attached to me that I could feel. Another voice spoke urgent commands “left, center. Stop.”
When the voices quieted, I was assured I was doing well, but must absolutely hold still. Then came the painless but unmistakable sensation of cutting, like a papercut. On my eye. Implements hazy without my lens descended into my line of sight and pressure indicated something being moved.
“Hold still,” I was reminded. A sound, the television sound of lasers snapping against a surface, followed by the smell of singed hair accosted me. My eye is burning I thought distantly, and I understood then the teddy bear. I grabbed it to me, feeling the soft fur against the ridges of my finger pads.
This was repeated, with greater fear now that I knew what to expect on my left eye.
Finally, after so few minutes that stretched to an eternity, the lights came back on, the disembodied voice became a calm, professional nurse, who led me, dazed but able to see unassisted to the recovery room.
And so I sat, my eyes closed, the lights dim, the faint sound of lasers conjuring the smell of singed eyes and then the quick transfer of new bodies around me. Our eyes burned and throbbed, like they were filled with sand from under an equatorial sun. We were assured this was normal.
Adding insult to injury, the only sound was that of smooth jazz.
Half an hour later, I escaped. The kind doctor, the one they trot out to assure you were not just abducted, did her job, and I was comforted. My vision was there. My eyes were still blue, and not some stranger’s coloration.
I’m not sure what exactly happened, but they held up their part of the bargain.
I could see again.
I can see.