Everything Is Purple

I was warned about this.

So my eye has been forked. They told me I would be so relaxed and spacey that it would be like a mini-vacation, which didn’t happen. Redheads and anesthesia: we’ve been here before. The only thing that happened was that an annoying charley horse in my right ass released and the stitch in my left ribs went away for a while.

They numb your eye with drops, so that was okay. And despite being told that I would experience the whole thing as happening in a few seconds, I got to sit through the entire ten or fifteen minutes, feeling them crank my eye open with a not uncomfortable gizmo and watching a series of pink, blue and green shapes do things in my near field of vision. It didn’t feel like it, but they were making a cut in the cornea, emulsifying the opaque lens behind it, and sucking it out like someone going after the last bits of a pumpkin spice latte with a straw. There were hydraulics, like when you get your teeth cleaned. A short bout of fidgeting doubtless represented settling the replacement lens in place. I am pretty sure I was awake through it all.

The one thing they were right about, though, is that what I can see of this screen through the perforated eyeshield they taped on — it makes me look like the Borg Queen on a budget — is purple.

Apparently cataracts filter light toward the yellow band of the spectrum. Your retinal cells compensate, overproducing the opposite color — remember color opposites in grade school, and the little trick where you stare and stare at a red light or color block and then close your eyes to see a vaguely identical green shape? Like that. My retina is turning everything purple. I don’t know how long this is going to go on.

It’s still normal on the left. Or yellow. I don’t know what the accurate description is. I am resigned to at least some days of a split screen existence.

This happens all over again next month.

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