The creepiest antagonists in the newer Dr. Who series are the Weeping Angels, an alien race that appear as statues. If you blink, they move and feed upon the energy you give off while they hurl you back in time. The constant warning is “Don’t Blink!” If you blink, they are there, bare-teethed and horrifying and then you are gone.
My Weeping Angel is a computer monitor. It saps my energy by holding me captive to its unending stream of information and word processing capabilities. I get my news, entertainment and friendly communication from it. I manage accounting records, shop and listen to music on it. I churn out blog posts, clean up photos and write short stories and even a novel while staring at it. I do not blink, but I’m still going to be sent back in time – to a time when a writer used pens and paper and not a keyboard.
I have just been diagnosed with recurrent corneal erosion syndrome. Yes, it’s a thing. If you just snorted in derision, well, I did too. No visit to a doctor goes without exit baggage of a syndrome or disorder or complex. I tend to avoid those trips at all costs. But I woke up this morning, as I have numerous mornings over the last few weeks, with blinding, stinging eyeball pain. I could wait no longer.
What I had assumed was eye strain was an actual injury caused by an abrasion and dry, old eyes. Opening my eyes from a deep night’s sleep meant ripping off layers of corneal cells, exposing nerves and causing severe pain and light sensitivity. I have a treatment plan prescribed by the optometrist. I will follow it – goop in my eyes at night, drops 3-4 times a day, and fish oil supplements (blech).
Whenever a physical malady hits me, I turn it into a statement about myself as a person. Intellectually I know it’s wrong. The optometrist was kind and non-judgmental, but all I could think was “that’s what you get for being on the computer all the time, you slob”. When you are looking at a monitor, you blink 4 times less than you normally would, which is why so many people get dry eyes. On top of that, I apparently don’t blink fully. Ever. More weird shit I didn’t need to know about myself.
So, I must spend the weekend coming up with a new plan for writing, blogging and everything in between. I have to transition to doing most of my initial drafts off line, rearrange my office so that my monitor is not situated against a wall – allowing my eyes to frequently change focal points.
I felt pretty depressed coming out of the eye doctor’s office, but my brain usually can rewrite the code and come up with a better perspective. I’ll take this as an opportunity to realign my priorities, figure out what I must do online and what can be done without being plugged in. It’s a decluttering to clear my vision in more than one way. While I’m resting my eyes and getting all this sorted, whatever you do, make sure you blink.