I was thinking about wearing my eye patch to the Antioch Writers' Workshop kickoff party last night. Amy bought it for me when I first came down with Bell's Palsy a couple weeks ago - the nurses in the emergency room recommended using one to keep dust and pollen from going into my left eye, which refuses to blink on its own. I usually only wear it when I am walking the dog or taking care of the chickens. I decided against it as I feared it would cause a stir and I didn't want to be viewed as grandstanding. Instead, I made do by putting some salve in my eye.
The Bell's is slowly starting to recede like the extra high tides we used to get with the hurricanes of my Long Island youth. The storm is over, but the after effects linger, and I find myself with Amy in the midst of a very crowded party in the all purpose room at Antioch Midwest with the triple disadvantages of my normally poor hearing, speech slurred because the left side of my mouth doesn't want to play along with the right, and the vision in my left eye blurry due to the ointment. Later it will start to tear.
I feel like I am experiencing life from the bottom of a large bottle: I am having trouble seeing; I am having trouble hearing; and I'm pretty sure no one can understand a word I am saying. "Hello, hello. If you can't hear me, try putting your ear to the mouth of the bottle!"
I would have done better with the patch, even though that also has the effect of isolating me from what's going on around me. Later, listening to keynote speaker John Grogan talk about how he couldn't write the story of his dog Marley until it had the ending that the end of the dog's life would provide, tears stream from my left eye. Amy keeps looking over at me as if I'm some kind of sentimental slob, which I am, but that's not my motivation right now.
I am up early this morning, bothered by my affliction and no longer able to find a comfortable position on the bed. I start to write this, then stop a couple paragraphs in to take care of the chickens. I decide to wear the patch. But, I have to be careful. Our girls need a new fifty pound bag of chicken feed that I have to carry out to chickenland from the garage. It's hard to see my feet and the path to the chicken run is marked by pitfalls.
Related post: My infirmity