Richard King Perkins II
It was the first wave of extended wear contact lenses
but they didn’t work for me—
got glued to my eyeballs,
the surface of my corneas infected and abraded
until seeing was as painful as a kidney stone attack
or a cluster headache
and left me puking from pain.
The only minor relief I could get was misted water
from the shower
or the breeze generated from running around my pool table
naked and crying, until I was exhausted
then whimpering back to the shower,
a cycle that lasted at least three hours.
Finally, I drove to the eye clinic
prying open my left eye with my fingers
and when I got there they treated me right inside the doorway
with liquid Novocain
and clucks of pity.
I was nineteen and ballsy as fuck
but I was on my knees
in total fealty
to an old woman with a squeeze bulb dropper
and twenty-five cents worth of medicine.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.