Angry Eye

It’s relatively late for an early morning blog post, so this will be short. But short is a relative term, isn’t it?

If visits to specialists weren’t so damn expensive, I’d make my plans to visit an ophthalmologist or dermatologist or ophthalmic dermatologist or dermatologic ophthalmologist soon. The issue is this: either I have one or more ingrown eyelashes or some other malady that causes my left eye to feel like an eyelash is intruding on ocular territory where eyelashes have no business. The “other malady” could be a lesion or some other physical abnormality on the edge of the eye lid. Considering the complexity of the human form, the “other malady” could be any one of literally hundreds of thousands of abnormalities. I would like to know the source of the irritation. More important than knowing the source, I’d like to know the cure. More important than knowing the cure, I’d like to have successfully experienced the cure. The modest pain associated with whatever it is bothering my left eye is enough to do damage to an otherwise nice morning. Cool temperatures (63F), mostly sunny skies, and the absence of wind make for a nice day outside, the sort of day that invites me onto the screened porch to listen to birds. When I went out to hang the hummingbird feeders, I heard the sound of cattle snorting and lowing in the fields in the valley below. Nice day! But my damn eye! Bothersome.

I’m trying to assess the degree of discomfort and adjust my attitude accordingly. Dealing with a scratchy, red, moderately painful left eye is better than coping with a dagger protruding from my midsection, I tell myself. And I’d rather adjust to an eye irritant than to excruciating pain anywhere in my body. I would opt, every time, for a minor eye irritant over having the back of my legs branded with hot steel. Even the perfect combination of temperatures, clouds, chirping birds, lowing cattle, and other pleasantness cannot make up for being branded. I can’t say that from experience, of course, but I’d rather not verify my opinion.


If the world were an even more perfect place, I’d be able to cook some bacon this morning. I have not eaten bacon for a very, very long time. I don’t remember the last time. I don’t know just how long it’s been, but when “in recent memory” does not apply, that’s far too long. I’m not allowed to have bacon in the house on a regular basis. My wife believes pork bacon is not heart-healthy. I believe she’s been indoctrinated by the turkey bacon lobby. We used to keep turkey bacon in the house. I once invited her to read the ingredient list on a package of turkey bacon (processed turkey pieces, water, salt, sugar, canola oil, sunflower oil, “natural flavor,” sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite). We switched to Canadian bacon (so, okay, I eat bacon regularly, just not “normal” bacon). I might make something unusual for breakfast this morning. If we had ground pork, I might make congee, flavored with pork and shallots. If we had shallots.  Why can’t I be satisfied with normal North American breakfasts like normal North Americans? My fascination with breakfasts around the world, it’s a curse. Yet I’d happily eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, if I had “streaky bacon.” That’s what some people call what I call “normal” bacon. Normal. Like bacon in other countries is abnormal? How arrogant of me to even think it. If we had pickled herring in the fridge, I’d gladly make a breakfast of pickled herring, cheese, olives, dark rye toast, and sliced tomatoes.  If we had dark rye bread (we ran out yesterday). And if we had tomatoes. Damn, a person could starve in this house! Not really. We have plenty of food. More than we need, in fact. I complain for the sake of complaining. It would be awfully embarrassing to attempt to complain, only to discover I do it poorly because I’m out of practice.

If I don’t get with it and check to see what we have that could be transformed into a good breakfast, I’ll find myself hungry with nothing to eat. At least a fruitless search for food will keep my mind off my angry eye.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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