Chop It Off

My squat little body houses a record number of physical calamities. If
you have read my latest published story, "Pharma Chameleon," (in the
March issue of The Rake) you already know that I’m pretty much a bubble
boy. My latest impediment is a Pterigium (kind of like a nasty veiny weed) on my right eye. As the weird red growth pushes on my pupil, the formerly blue eye is now always bloodshot and weeping. The Pterigium was caused from my over exposure to sunlight. For
the last fifteen years, I’ve worked outside in the raw elements of
Minnesota and my eye has been sun scalded, sand blasted, and singed
with diesel fumes and rancid blue collar profanity. If you are a stoner college kid named Scroggins perma red eyes are no big deal. But I’m 35, and a dad and shit. It isn’t cool to look "Cheeched" when you take your kid to the neighborhood park. I decided to have the growth cut off my eye and undergo ocular reconstructive surgery.

On the day of my recent surgery, a chipper surgical nurse hooked me up to all sorts of tubes in the pre-op station. She gave me a quizzical look.

"Are you from the Caribbean?" She asked me. I found the question dumbfounding because I’m as white as Larry Bird.

"Ugh, no," I replied. "Why?"

"Most people who have this thingy on their eye spend a lot of time on the ocean," she told me. "So you aren’t a surfer?"

I assured the nurse that I was indeed no surfer, and that in fact, when it came to swimming, my body was an anvil in the water. A
few minutes later, my stone faced surgeon breezed in, flipped through
my chart, stared down at me, wrote the word "right" on a piece of tape
and stuck it to my face to make sure he fixed the correct eye.

Then the horror show started. After I was knocked out with anesthesia, I came out too early and awoke in the surgery room during the surgery! I couldn’t move a muscle, but I could see and feel the doctor poking around in my eye socket. My eye was held open with some sort of clamp and I watched the doctor use tweezers on my eyeball. I laid there limp but completely freaking out, anxiety surging through my limbs. I let out a low grumble. The surgeon heard it and snapped, "He’s up! Put him back down!" A medical team scurried around and soon drugs slowly trickled in and the lights began to fade. As I drifted off, I could actually see the surgeon gluing membranes onto my eyeball to help heal the incision. When I woke up in the recovery room, I had humungous white gauze over the eye that looked like the largest maxi pad in history. It was bad enough that I woke up Alfred Hitchcock style during surgery. But
now I had a feminine hygiene product stuck to my face that my smartass
brother Tony kept telling people was for my "vagina eye."

I was blinded for a few days. As my surgically repaired eye adjusted to the new world, I could only keep my eyes open for short periods. My wife rented the hit movie "Eastern Promises" starring the Oscar nominated actor Viggio Mortensen for me to watch. But I couldn’t even see straight so I laid down at the end of the bed and listened to the movie as she watched it. When
the famous "naked knife fight" scene (in which the hunky actor goes
bare assed and fights two dudes in a sauna) came on, Sarah
enthusiastically called out, "You’ve got to see this!" I
opened my one good eye only to see Viggio Mortensen’s stubby little
dick darting around on the screen about two inches from my face. It damn near blinded me for life. I shrieked away from the T.V., the actor’s hairy ball sack burning into my cornea forever.

A month later, a fleshy growth appeared on the eye. It was so gross my wife wouldn’t even look at me. When we got married, apparently the whole "in sickness and health" part of the ceremony was optional. I went back to the surgeon and he reexamined the eye.

"The fleshy deposit is due to the eye not healing properly," he told me. "But the good news is that I can CHOP IT OFF right here." Now those are three words no patient ever wants to hear. Chop. It. Off. He tilted me back and casually scraped off the growth as if he was using a deli meat slicer at Cub Foods.

To protect my eye from any further sun damage, I now wear a white golf bucket hat and dark sunglasses. Sure, the surgery was great and it restored my vision. But
now I look exactly like one of those perverts you see on that hit NBC
show "To Catch a Predator" where sleazy incognito middle age men creep
around suburban houses trolling for teenage girls.

But at least I don’t have a vagina eye anymore.