I've been working a lot lately. Too much, perhaps. And though I've known people who buoy heavy workloads with a newfound dedication to meditation or morning walks, such an onslaught of deadlines and extraction of brainpower only buoys my dedication to wearing the same jeans and bra 18 days in a row. I think I remember my most recent shower, but I can't be sure. Perhaps I only wrote about one in a story.
My cousin and his family came to visit yesterday. I put on deodorant for what was possibly the first time since I got this assignment. I didn't change my jeans. I didn't put in contacts. I brushed my teeth, but not my hair. Overall, they got the best I could give. We spoke of parenting and work and our futures and vacations. Then my cousin spoke of noticing signs in every little thing and how we cling to those signs, overanalyze those signs, gamble on those signs.
My cousin soon left, and I took it as a sign to get back to work. And today I'm back at it, but I noticed that the sides of my nose were hurting — the sides where my glasses cradle my nose. I'm not sure whether they're allowed to hurt. I once was told that my grandfather created the soft nose pads on glasses but didn't have the money to patent them. He sold the idea for $50, and the buyer became a millionaire. That is what I was told. But I also used to tell people that I wrote the song "This Used to Be My Playground" when I was 10 years old and Madonna was listening on my roof and stole it from me. So perhaps storytelling, boasting and a twinge of paranoia run in my bloodstream.
When I got contacts at age 14, I wondered whether my grandfather, who had been gone nearly a decade, would have considered it a betrayal.
I loved contacts. I was obsessed, if not reckless. When I worked as an adventure tour guide in the Outback, I'd keep them in my eyes the whole two weeks we were camping. They never irritated me; it was comforting just knowing that if I were woken by dingoes or snakes while sleeping under the stars, I'd have 20/20 vision as I ran for my life.
But since getting this gig, I've lived in my glasses, and they were irritating my nose. I went to the bathroom, washed my face with cold water and put in my contacts, but I couldn't see. Did they go in? I took out my left contact, placed it back in again. Blinked. Hmm, I seemed to have seen better when the contact was out. I did the same with my right contact. Same thing. My vision was better without the contacts. What did this mean? Were my contacts telling me something? Was I hindering my own ability to see the world, to see clearly, to think clearly, to be clearly? My cousin said signs are everywhere. What did this mean?
I looked down at the contacts case. Oh, it meant I had put in my husband's contacts. The purple case is his. I removed his contacts. I grabbed my case.
I put in my own contacts. But again, something went wrong. I had dropped one, it seemed. I thought I had put it in, but I still could not see. And as I searched for the dropped left contact, I realized I wasn't seeing that well out of my right eye, either.
I didn't want to open my last left contact from its packaging but knew I must because my nose was hurting and there was work to be done. I opened the package, put in the new left contact and took out the right contact, thinking it just needed to be adjusted. Suddenly, I saw perfectly.
I had never lost that left contact; I had just put two contacts into the same eye. And I had opened my very last left contact for no reason.
I asked my husband what it all means. He said it means it's time to order more contacts. And change my jeans. And maybe take a nap and a shower. He's wearing an old sign language hoodie, so I believe him.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.