Friday, July 22, 2011

Eye surgery and epiphanies

They* put valium drops in my eyes but did not give me, the person, any actual valium. I could have used it. They did, however, give me a stuffed moose doll to hold. I squeezed the non-life out of that thing.

The hard part was when the doctor cut away the flap over my iris. Your eye goes completely black for 9 seconds, during which time you can hear him cutting into your flesh and smell it burning. I strangled that moose and panicked internally.

After that, no problem. It was actually really easy. No pain, just a red light and a green light to stare at until they were done, which was in 3 minutes. Literally. Whole thing took about 3 minutes per eye.

So now I can see stuff. It's pretty cool. I got my first pair of glasses in the 8th grade, so being able to actually see things without help is fucking amazing. I woke up in the middle of the night and just stared out the window at all the stuff I could see.

On the way to my check-up visit (20/15 in one eye, 20/20 in the other), I suddenly realized what's wrong with Burnside. Burnside is my Civil War script, my labor of love, my non-commercial beauty that nobody will ever make ever because it involves all the things executives hate taking a chance on - female protag, period piece, interracial sex scenes, ambiguous good guys, heroic bad guys, etc..... But it's my greatest challenge to make it sort of like Killing on Carnival Row - a script nobody can make, but everyone has read and loved. If it takes me 50 years, I will make this happen.

And today I suddenly realized that I have the wrong protagonist. As soon as I realized that, most of my biggest problems just fell by the wayside. I realized that I can keep almost exactly the same story, but if I tell it from someone else's perspective, things that felt wrong start to make sense. My protagonist becomes the antagonist and a lot of those non-commercial things I mentioned a minute ago disappear. Suddenly, as I realized this, I also started to realize that my script might not be as unfilmable as I thought.

I have four projects circulating in my mind right now, including the wedding script I'm currently typing, but someday, somehow, I will return to Burnside and I will fix it.

*LA Sight is the name of the place. My only negative comment is that the bathroom key did not work so I had to go to the third floor to pee. Other than that, stellar chaps over there. I trusted them with my eyeballs and they delivered.


  1. Congrats on the lasik. I saved for years to pay for mine, but I don't regret it at all. Of course, now I need reading glasses. LOL

    Hate to see you lose your female protag, but hope you find a home for your new version.

  2. Read your eye post last night. Panicked for a moment on your behalf, elected not to share that, or the few bad outcome stories I know (so as not to antagonize god of mischief), but egads am sooo damn happy it turned out well. I'm very visually oriented (and with glasses since 8th grade too), and the thought of a knife to my eyes, eeeee, brazil and clockwork orange come immediately and ferociously to mind. As does potential blindness. So four-eyes I'll remain, unless I get a huge aperol cocktail sloshed generously with valium. Lots of valium. Maybe one day. Or not.


  3. I can't believe they didn't give you Valium! I got it with mine... though it wore off after the first eye was done and I was waiting for the second one.

    I can totally relate to what you said about waking up in the middle of the night and staring out the window just to see.

    It took a good six months after the surgery for my mental self-image to reboot to the point where I stopped picturing myself with glasses. I also discovered I might have had a nervous habit of adjusting my glasses, because for at least a month I kept reaching up to fiddle with a frame that was no longer there.

  4. How were you after the operation? I remember reading about another blogger who took the eye surgery without having someone to accompany her. She thought she could go home on her own LOL!

  5. Hah. I had my neighbor drive me. But by the next day I could drive just fine.


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