The closing of an eye

By Nathan Allen Booko

Pittsboro, NC – Folklore and literature abound with stories, quips and mottos relating to the lid of an eye either being open or being closed. “Wide awake,” “Every shut-eye ain’t asleep, “let sleeping dogs lie,” “Wink, I’ll do the rest,” “A real eye opener,” “fast asleep.”

The deceased are almost always pictured with closed eyes. However, it is far from truth that their eyes automatically close when life is gone. Not so.  Some are presumed dead simply because the eyes are closed and no movement. Sometimes movement of the eye/lid is not possible. Due to many causes. My current eye situation was never imagined nor could I envision (an understatement) that a small operation on my temple for skin cancer would somehow affect my eye, my vision, my appearance and how folks look at me, and how they now halfway appear to me. Oddly enough however, a bill or statement for fifty dollars still looks like fifty dollars, not twenty five.

Even though the operation was supposedly not really near the eye, I was surprised at the end of several hours surgery that my eye was drooped, bloodshot and swollen shut. “All shut eyes ain’t asleep” was very real to me.

An explanation to me, by the surgeon was that in order not to have to do a skin graft (from my buttocks) the incision had to be longer to stitch the wound back together or maybe during the operation a nerve was severed and lent to the problem. In any case, the eye was swollen shut, bloodily blackened and the bandage partially hanging over my eye. I thought it would be temporary; yes, partial swelling and the bloody black is gone, but the drooped eyelid seems as if it will be with me the rest of my days. Like it or not. I’m too old to consider any kind of corrective surgery. It will always be a drooped eyelid. I know I’m not the only one. But I just can’t see not talking about it. I envision it helping someone. I’ve set my sights high on that, I hope you all can see that.

I can only hope that sharp blade that brought the cure and the curse, won’t need to be the cutting edge of any future scalpel.

I am what I am. It is what it is. Here’s looking at you guys. I’ll be seeing you.