far too much writing, far too many photos

[continued from previous entry]

For the exam’s big finale Lois wanted to take retinal photographs, a process requiring dilated pupils. She mentioned that at some point during the non-stop chatter, approached me with a dropper of liquid that she said would produce the desired dilation, applied two or three drops to either eye. A few minutes later, she’d finished up everything but the photos — my eyes, however, were not yet doing the dilation thing, she sent back out to the waiting area to hang about until the drops took effect, then disappeared for a while with another client. I’m pawing through the available magazines, none of them holding my attention. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. Somewhere during a scan of Motor Trend’s car of the year, I realized the stuff had taken effect. My eyes were on drugs, and they were having a major party.

The world I saw had become radiant in a way I can only describe as psychedelic. Trippy in a way that put a big goofy smile on my face, affecting my state of mind in strangely happy-making fashion. Everything around me glowed, everything I saw shone, my eyes sensitive to light in a reality-altering way, leaving me a teeny bit whacked out and having far too much fun.

Lois reappeared, took a glance at my eyes. My state must have been obvious. She smiled at me, I smiled happily at her. She crooked a finger, I floated up off my chair and followed her into an exam room. She directed me to a seat, got me harnessed to the camera, killed the lights, began looking deep into my eyes (talking the entire time). Took a couple of photos, brought the lights back up, a printer spat out post-card size images of my eyes. Two big orbs, reddish with capillaries. Not a hugely attractive sight.

More talk, explaining things to me, until we were done and I found myself writing out a check, my vision, if anything, even more intense than before, everything luminescent, me wisely keeping my Oh, wow, mans to myself.

Lois gave me the option of ordering glasses of a very weak prescription for any time my eyes might become excessively tired, for the hell of it I took her up on it, a mighty cute woman from the office tending to that with me, a process that took no time at all. And then I was out the door, feeling light on my feet, the world glowing, me functioning with no problem in the middle of it all. In the car, I took a look at myself in the rearview mirror, saw a smiling wild man, my eyes enormous and strangely dark.

Drove to the co-op in Montpelier for groceries, me functioning like a competent human being every step of the way, everyone there returning my persistent smile. If they noticed anything out of the ordinary, no one showed it. Drove home, experienced no difficulties of any sort along the way. My state of mind didn’t lend itself to writing or anything vaguely productive. It worked just fine, though, for watching re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Somewhere around three o’clock, my eyes began de-tripping. Two hours later, all special effects had given way to the normal world.

And last night I slept like a baby. A big baby, the kind that wakes up needing a shave.

This life of ours: there’s never any telling what the hell it has in store for us, is there?


Early March, East Montpelier, Vermont:

EspaƱa, te echo de menos.

2 Responses to “Visual entertainment, part II”

  1. Diana

    Strange that she didn’t have you wear dark glasses. And that she let you drive!

    Good story, both parts. I was right there.

  2. rws

    They did give me some roll-up sunglasses, but I saw better without them.

    I don’t think it occurred to anyone that dilating my pupils would produce any effects beyond the funny visuals.

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