Floaters

Day 1, Thursday:

I woke up today at 7:10am to get my daughter ready for school. As I was packing her lunch, it occurred to me there was something blocking part of my vision. I rubbed my eyes to try and clear them, but it was no good. Just above the center of my view, there was a floater, and it followed wherever I looked. I closed my eyes and it was still there, lurking in my periphery.

I finished up making her lunch and sat down distractedly on the couch to brood over my newest condition. First I closed my right eye, and it was still there. Then I covered my left eye. Still visible, but now on a dark background. So, it’s in my left eye. But why…or how can I still see it with my eyes closed? It makes no sense.

I went through the rest of the day, trying but failing not to focus on the blob constantly in my sight. Driving is a new challenge. Reading is all but impossible. I fell asleep hoping it will have cleared up by morning.

Day 2, Friday:

I almost had time to forget it was ever there before my eyes adjusted and there it was. Seems like it’s shifted a bit to the left since yesterday. Oh, well. Can’t let that get in the way, right? Things to do, responsibilities to attend, all that. So after Kaila got on the bus, I got my coffee going and sat down on the couch with my book. I quickly realized I can’t get into it. Every time my eyes shift, I can see the floater moving around. It’s like a clump of grasslike seaweed caught in a current when I look from right to left and back again. Something lazily drifting in the jelly membrane of my eye.

Day 3, Saturday:

It’s only getting worse. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has assured me that it will be less, if not completely gone by today, but it’s bigger than ever. And it seems to be moving on it’s own, now. Even while my eye is still, it’s unfurling and binding up in a tight coil again. I stumbled through the day, unable to focus mentally or visually¬† on anything else. I’m glad Kaila is staying with her cousin for the night. I’m too preoccupied with myself to tend a child.

By 9pm, I started hearing a scratching sound that was taking over the whole world. Clearly not from an outside source, it was coming from within. A wild pain surfaced from my eye. Dull, then sharp, dull, sharp, dull, sharp. I was sure something was taking tiny bites of my ocular cavity, trying to work it’s way into my brain. I closed my eyes and focused on the floater as much as I could. Do you know how frustrating it is trying to zero in on something that moves in sync with your eye? Still, the crunching sound and bright pulsing pain in my skull. But I could see it finally. It’s head was diamond shaped like a viper. Darting back and forth, taking bites and withdrawing again. I went to the bathroom and turned on all the bright 6500k white led lights over the mirror and stared at my pale blue eye, seeing nothing abnormal, but still the hot, sharp pains, coming and going like the ebb and flow of the tide. I knew what was happening but still couldn’t quite believe it. No sense wasting time, I jabbed my finger in, wrapped it around like a hook and pulled my eye out. As it dangled from it’s optic nerve, I couldn’t help but squeeze shut my eyelids. I fumbled around in the dark for what seemed like minutes, but was probably only seconds, searching and groping for the sharp scissors I use to trim my beard. When I finally found them, I wished I’d had the foresight to have sterilized them, but the truth is, I hadn’t been thinking about severing my dangling eyeball when I stumbled in there. I quickly cut through the optic nerve and let my eye fall into the sink. I rinsed it down with a lot of bleach, hoping that would kill whatever parasite was torturing my vision for the past 3 days, all the while squeezing my left eyelid shut while tears steadily streamed from my only good eye.

It’s been 3 weeks and my empty eye socket has healed quickly. I’m adjusting to it pretty well, but depth perception has been tough. I’ll get by.

Another month has gone by, and today I woke up with another floater.

  • Eric Mastenbrook

    The assumption should be that our protagonist is host to a new and devastating parasite and he’ll have to cut out his one remaining eye and be left blind or let it eat his brain