October 30, 2008 :: my I

Once upon a time, I was a bit of a daredevil. I spelunked, unguided and untrained, through northern caves. I scaled a treacherous quarry wall, no tresspassing signs blaring, to fall, intentionally, into 80 feet of crystal-clear water. Spun front-wheel drive sedans backwards through cornfields, gravel roads, icy parking lots. Spent endless winter school-nights launching over moguls, sliding face-first into ice, racing boys down black diamonds. I piloted banana-seat bikes, no hands mom, over bumpy crags into knify stickers, twisted metal flying. I jumped, I climbed and swang, I barrelled full-force, headlong, arms flailing, fearless, beat-the-devil wild into countless possibly dangerous situations without a single thought to life, limb or insurance premiums. I hardly came out unscathed. Busted elbow skin, chunks missing from knees (still), broken nose, black eyes, fractured fingers, rug burn, road rash, concussive blows, broken eardrums, chipped teeth, toes snapped like twigs. I loved every second of it.

It's still in me. The rollercoaster-loving, fast-driving, "yeah..that thing I have no idea how to do? Let's go!" me that sits here and writes about crazy furiousness more than she actually lives it can still feel the adrenaline rush, the heartbeat rushing her ears--just now during the first song of the set, in front of the design class, at the restaurant trying the thing she can't pronounce. But today, I found out its even more "in" me than I knew.

About a week ago, I went to the local el-cheapo eyeglasses chain to get a couple random pairs of frames filled with a new prescription. The doc in the box checked me out (one or two? three...or four? better....or....worse?), and then began looking perplexed. Broke out the magnifying loop. Shone the SUN into my eyes, one by one, then asked me if I had insurance.

Fortunately I do, I said. Good, he said, because I see something weird. Pigment crystals floating in your eye fluid, clogging the natural drain, possibly causing glaucoma. I heard "pigment" "fluid" "BLINDNESS" then that earful of racing heart.

Before I go on - My eyes are mismatched in color, you should know. Left: 90% brown. Like a giant birthmark on my iris. Right: greenish blue - clear as a well-chlorinated pool. It's odd, yes. It's also, for the rest of you, humerous to be asked if you "know" that your eyes are two different colors. No. Had no idea. Eesh. Anyway, I'd heard about pigment before from eye-guys. That the retinal surface in my dark eye is full of pigment stalagmites. That it's beautiful - and maybe dangerous...just come back next year so we can check again.

Today, I went to the "real" eye dude to find out if my vision will go the tunnel-route prematurely. Or dudes and dudettes, may I say, as five different technicians administered nearly a dozen tests and poked and prodded my runny, massively sensitive, angry eyes (notice I do not wear contacts? It's because my eyes explode into watery, red, blinky craziness if I get anything even near them. Everyone at the Dunwoody eye clinic understands this now.) trying to figure out if I have this, or something else, or nothing.

The verdict: I've been whalloped in the head.

Not surprised, you say. Yeah - me neither, since I remember a winter day 17 years ago, my pink K2 165s razer sharp and waxed to atomic speed, rushing across the bottom slope at Perfect North and then....blackness and tumbling, as an out-of-control dude twice my size slammed into me at 30-some mph. His elbow? Shoulder? Knee? connected squarely with my left browbone, fracturing it, and knocking me into a binding-popping, pole-chucking, head-over,heels flip. (He wasn't any luckier, you may be interested to know. I walked away. My skies sliced his very nice Rossi's into several paper-thin layers, and he was carried off on a backboard.) Apparently, that concussive force knocked a bunch of eye-color loose in my left eye, splattering some pigment abstractly against the lens, and leaving more to float free and clog eye-drains. Where some people have screws-loose from concussions, I have a rainbow loose in my head.

Say it like that and it still sounds exciting, but not nearly as scary. I'd say that describes my adventure-life these days perfectly. And I still love it.


terra studio said...

if you want to go caving sometime with us, let me know :) we got michael hooked in spite of himself!

Northern Constitutional said...

Wow...a rainbow loose in your head. Sounds like something I want to call, "cool", but instead I'll say, "Whoa." because that is scary. Glad you are okay though...I mean, you're okay, right?

Kendra said...

ha! I'm fine. I guess...was totally unaware of the lasting consequences. Who know what else is rattling around in there?