First Day with Contact Lenses

A colored abstract eye in purple, green and pinnk
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

The first day of wearing contact lenses is big, exciting and scary at the same time. No one is ready for that, to be honest. You assemble a mirror, tie your hair up in a ponytail and wear your most comfortable clothes to allow freedom of movement. You do some arm stretches, followed by some wrist and finger stretches and tapping exercises. Fine motor skills need to be at their best today. 

You take a deep breath. 

The contact lenses are happily floating in their solution. Yes, it feels kind of cruel. You will take them outside of their natural habitat and place them in some strange and uncharted territory (aka your eyes). And drumroll please… they might not like it there. They might get annoyed and dry your eyes so much until you give up and remove them. Or they might feel all cosy and just let you be, and see, most importantly. 

Gathering strength from God knows where you carefully grab one and place it on your index finger. You inspect it carefully to check if the shape is correct (if it’s not a perfect circle, it might be inside out, as your optician warned you). Everything seems fine. In slow-motion, you bring the contact lens closer and closer to your right eye. Your terrifying look is undeniable (Thank God no one is around to immortalize the moment). You are almost there, and your eye is wide open, ready to embrace his new friend. 

Plot twist. Your eyelid closes. Again, again and again. It’s like there’s a switch somewhere: as soon as the enemy is too close, it’s time to close the curtains. And then you sort of wish you were in that A Clockwork Orange scene where the eyes are clamped open… But then you think again, realise it might be a bit painful and forget about it. 

After several failed attempts, somehow you succeed. You are now wearing one contact lens on your right eye. WOW! It’s a whole new world out there, you think, keeping your left eye closed. Fuelled with adrenaline, you rush and manage to put the contact lens on your left eye on your first strike. Oh boy, does it feel good… 

It’s like seeing for the first time. The frame of your glasses is gone. Your eyes are wild and free to look wherever they want. Everything is clear and focused. It’s better than a dream! Every once in a while, your hand reaches up in an attempt to readjust your glasses (which are no longer there). It will take a while to get rid of this automated action… Later on, you’re chilling on the sofa and decide to read a book and out of force of habit, you reach for your glasses and put them on*. 

*All memories of what happened afterwards have been meticulously erased. Thank you, brain, I owe you one. 

Thank you, Writers’ HQ for this lovely exercise on day#1 of 14 Days of Self Write-solation :).

P.S.: Aliens struggle with eyesight too. Find evidence on that here.

Guess what, I’m immune to coronavirus -I mean, an alien!- (Chapter 8)

Photo by Morgan Von Gunten

8th of April, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, I can finally say goodbye to those sleepless nights staring at the ceiling… I’m officially immune. Take that, COVID-19! When Dr Crownie told me over the phone, my three-eyed-glasses almost crashed on the floor from the excitement. I got so pumped that I immediately created an event on Facebook to celebrate my immunity. I invited Dave, Dr Crownie and his lab assistant, and his weird four-legged creature with a tail and a big tongue. Shortly after everyone started rejecting my invitation: “Sorry mate, can’t make it”. “Hopefully next time”. “Quite busy at the moment”. “Unfortunately I got my online shiatsu massage scheduled at that time”. How silly of me. Obviously, no one would be able to come to my party. Sometimes I feel like I’m from another planet. Do you ever feel this way?

So here’s the thing. (DISCLAIMER: I’m not 100% sure this is true, but hey, who is?) Right now, I might be the only living creature who can break the rules and get away with it. I could go out for a run 15 times a day. I could eat mindfully in empty restaurants (cooking my food and quickly refilling my cup of water after drinking). I could travel around Europe in a private jet (It’s not actually a private jet, but I would be the only passenger anyway, so it would be super cool) and go sightseeing in ghost cities. I could buy one banana in every single supermarket in town (for market research purposes, you got me). There’re so many things I could do that I don’t know where to start… Truth is, it might eventually get boring -and potentially quite depressing-. I need to start thinking of ways I could clone myself or just anyone really… But someone COVID-19-proof. And then we could travel the world, less than two meters apart, holding each other’s hands… And it would feel like a dream. These are just my humble ideas. What would YOU do if you if you were immune too? 😉

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 7)

Red and white daruma doll figurine on pink background.
Easter 2020 in a nutshell. Yes, I know it’s not a egg. Photo by Brunno Tozzo

2nd of April, 2020

I feel like it has been Sunday for ten days in a row but I have the impression this might not be possible. At least, here on Earth. Anyway, somehow I forgot to write in my diary… Luckily I didn’t forget about my virtual appointment with my GP several days ago. Dr Crownie, still wearing his SpongeBob pyjamas, seemed to be fascinated with my case. He was also deeply concerned in case coronavirus caused unexpected symptoms in my body. Then he went on about his long career and how he had never encountered a similar situation and asked for permission to write a report about me. If I could blush, I could have… But aliens don’t blush. My mum would be so proud of me! I would be famous! Right you, back to the important bits. So yeah, basically Dr Crownie told me that I have to collect and send some samples for him to perform a “thorough and compendious” analysis. No idea what he meant, but I agreed anyway. He needed blood, breath, urine and hair. HAIR! What on Mars is that? Ah right, that fluffy thing some humans have to keep their head nice and warm… Well, I don’t have (or need) any of that, thank you very much.

So yeah, unfortunately I still don’t know if I can get coronavirus. I have to wait for the results… I feel cool as a cucumber, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. And no, of course I didn’t manage to get those COVID-19 positive human samples from the hospital because Dr Crownie told me to self-isolate at home until he has more information on how to proceed. Yes, I am a disappointment to my family. I might not be allowed in my hometown ever again. And no, my aunt won’t send me chocolate eggs for Easter… Not even a card.

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 6)

24th of March, 2020

I have to admit that when Dave first mentioned it, I was about to bake a cake because I thought they had discovered a new asteroid. Turns out it’s not exactly that. And it’s not good news. But I was kind of close. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure you know there’s a new virus going around. What you might not know is that there’s an astrobioligist called Chandra Wickramasinghe that claimed that COVID-19 came from space, travelling through a meteor. Offended? A LOT. Puzzled? That too. I wish I had paid more attention at school… I am too embarrassed to email my teacher about this. Luckily, my aunt is a police officer, so I found appropiate sending her a link with the article so she can properly investigate the issue. She told me that she needs proof ASAP. Guess who will have to sneak into the hospital and “borrow” some positive swab samples COVID-19 positive… Not sure exactly how am I going to send them over to her. But I’ll sort out the logistics tomorrow.

But still, there’s too many questions unanswered for my poor four brains… Can I, since everyone keeps claiming I am an “alien” (no comments…), get infected with the virus as well? Should I expect the same symptoms as humans? Do I need to wear a mask? Where do I find a mask that doesn’t irritate my slimy skin? Are the space borders closed as well or can I go and “briefly” visit my mum to tell her I’m OK? I phoned 007 and when I explained I was an alien they hung up and blocked my number. SHOCKING. No one seems to take me seriously here, except from Dave. Because look, if it turns out I am immune to COVID-19, I could go and help at the hospitals, do the grocery for elderly people, walk people’s dogs… But instead, here I am, stuck in my flat, refreshing teenager memories by watching Venus Shore for the fifth time… And I can’t even meet Dave for a cup of tea.

Tomorrow at 2.59pm I have a videocall with my GP. Let’s see what he has to say… Stay safe everyone…

Hungry for more? 😉

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 5)

Weirdly-shaped things I can lift with my pinkie

 

20th of January, 2020

Today it’s meant to be the most depressing day of the year but I’m over the moon! Christmas is over and the calm has been restored. Dave (sorry, Santa Claus) was a total sweetheart and gave me a pair of wonderful handmade woollen socks which happened to fit me perfectly (I’ll save them for the summer though: now it’s far too hot to wear them anyway). He said he knitted them himself. I know it was his grandma. I would have never thought I could eat so much food in such a reduced timeframe. So yes, I am a bit chubbier than usual but still looking cool. I signed up at the gym and started trying things out. I did a bit of running in a thing very similar to a conveyor belt of a supermarket. After 678 seconds, the evil machine started beeping like crazy. I should have seen this coming. A friendly gentleman quickly approached me to check if I was feeling dizzy. “I haven’t been better!” – I assured him, with a big smile. His eyes almost popped out. Later on, I found a really cool looking bike, so I climbed up and started pedalling. Between you and me: changing the duvet cover is way more appealing than all this pedalling to nowhere. After a bit of wandering around and observing all sorts of creatures, hairstyles and outfits, I found a mysterious wooden room. I couldn’t see much when I got inside, even with my glasses on, but I quickly noticed that the fellow next to me was sweating enough to fill in at least a pint of water. I immediately got goosebumps and I started shivering. Very intriguing indeed. Just so you get an idea of the place, it was like a wooden freezer. I’ll have to ask Dave about its purpose. The only thing I know is that next time I’ll bring my ski suit, glove, hat… and a head torch.

 

Hungry for more? 😉

No need for binoculars

It was very toasty in there. It wasn’t necessarily good or bad. But it was definitely something worth mentioning. And there was a really annoying noise in the background. I don’t know how to describe it. It was hard to focus on the job. Every 10 minutes or so, a light breeze would come in and someone would stare at us. Just between you and me, the situation was quite violent. I don’t remember signing any papers agreeing to this kind of treatment. Did you? And there was no place to hide, which made things even worse! We were clearly not ready. Why couldn’t he just leave us alone? I swear I tried to make it clear, but the fellow wouldn’t get it, and simply kept staring with this annoying hesitant look on his face. I mean, yeah. One could possibly blame Hitchcock for “Rear Window” and the peeping theme. But. Here, there were no cameras or binoculars involved. And the fellow was anything but discreet. Oh, and that filthy thing underneath us. First things first, it was so shiny I could barely open my eyes. And last but not least, it made me want to scratch my skin like a psycho. But for reasons only God knows, I couldn’t, and I guess I’ll never be able to. I guess being a chicken nugget is not an easy job, my friends. Stay strong!

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 4)

10th of December, 2019

I have 2 friends and a half. Yipee! And no, I didn’t cut anyone in half. Yet. It’s just that we’re almost friends, but we’re not quite there yet. I think there’s potential though. About 74.3%.

15th of December, 2019

I met up with Dave last night. We had a blast. Please don’t judge me, but I tried one of the “funny” drinks: gin and tonic. I felt nothing apart from bubbles in my tummy and a tickly sensation in my nose that made me sneeze. 5 times in a row. No clumsiness, redness or talking nonsense. To be honest, in a way I’m relieved, but also a bit disappointed.

18th of December, 2019

Dave is a 3D printing specialist. He does really cool stuff. He has printed me some kickass 3-eyed-glasses and I can’t thank him enough. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I go back to the opticians and take a goosey gander around the shop, just for fun. You’d be amazed at the number of chin drops! I bet they’d all sell their kidneys to get glasses as cool as mine!

Apparently, Christmas is coming (to town). Everyone is pumped and I feel utterly confused. The dazzling lights give me an ocular migraine. Dave’s been trying to explain it to me but I’m not sure I got it. Everyone shops like crazy. And here’s the important bit: no matter what they buy, they need to wrap it with fancy shiny paper! Is it a protective measure? Just for fun? Are they embarrassed by what they bought? Worried that the police might find out? Think about it: why would you hide something you’ve just bought? It looks suspicious. I’ll need to ask Dave. There are all sorts of information on Google but I’m not sure if the sources are reliable. I’d rather check with a local. Oh, and then there’s this chubby grandpa with a big white beard constantly ringing a bell… Life is so weird here.

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 3)

16th of November, 2019

I miss my friends. I miss our evenings playing hide and seek with the stars. Our meteor cakes. And swimming in sweet water. My closest connections tend to describe me as a cheerful individual because I’m usually smiling and I have a good sense of humour. Truth is I struggle sometimes. I know there is no longer space for me up there. It’s just so hard to accept that I’ll never be able to go back home.

19th of November, 2019

I called my mum yesterday night. I sent her a picture of the 5x4cm purple stain on my arm and she said she’d ask our doctor for advice. My degree of homesickness is dangerously reaching 89%, so I’ve decided I need to stop moaning and try to make myself at home here. I’d like to make some new connections. I need a plan.

24th of November, 2019

I went to my first Couchsurfing meetup today. I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest. Surfing on the sofa sounded fun. I brought my diving suit and towel with me to feel prepared. We met in a pub, and I quickly realised there would be no sofas and certainly no surfing. Just drinking. Some drinks here have very weird side effects: unstoppable giggling, clumsiness, talking nonsense and getting red cheeks. I’ve been observing it for the last couple of weeks. It’s actually quite fun. I usually stick to water, just to be on the safe side. I’m too scared of any abnormal skin reactions. But maybe one day, who knows. Just one tiny sip…

What happens next?

Guess what, I’m an alien! (Chapter 2)

8th of November, 2019

I’ve been thinking of going to the beach for a while now. Sandcastles, water and jellyfish seem like an interesting combination. I’m a bit nervous because it’ll be my first time. I did some research to ease my mind and found out that I need a swimsuit, a towel, flip-flops and sunscreen. I still haven’t figured out what sunscreen factor would be more suitable for my skin. I’ve been looking everywhere, but there’s no information on slimy emerald green #046307 skin. I’ve never had to use sunscreen before: actually I didn’t even know that such a thing existed. I think I miss our moonlight. Anyway, the pharmacist almost had a heart attack when I asked him for advice, so I ended up choosing one randomly, leaving the coins on the counter and rushing outside. Back home, I applied a bit of sunscreen on my left arm, just to try it out. My beautiful skin turned PUR-PLE! Purple and green… It’s like the beginning of a horror story! I tried to wash it out but the colour kept changing: orange, black, yellow, purple again… What a disgrace! I really wanted to enjoy the sunshine but my whole body turning purple wasn’t an option. Luckily, I ended up finding a bargain on eBay: a diving suit. Of course, it didn’t fit me properly so I had to make some alterations here and there. Getting a towel? Easy-peasy. I just couldn’t find any flip-flops size 76.4 so I decided to go barefoot like I always do. Apparently, walking barefoot on the sand is good for you anyway.

12th of November, 2019

Oh, what a day. Much to my surprise, the beach was completely empty. But it was so hot outside! I wonder where everyone went. I mean, 8ºC? Unbearable. Anyway, I drove to the beach with all my equipment and set up camp. I sunbathed for 39 seconds. Then I went for a swim. Swimming has relaxed me since I was a child. We used to go to the lake with my parents every second Sunday. I should give them a call sometime. Let’s set a reminder at 4:58:03. So, back to the water. I was about to bump into some strange orange balloons when my hands started to itch like hell. I made an enormous effort not to scratch, I swear. I focused on my breath. On my toenails. On my belly button. But nothing worked. I swam back to the beach and sat down in despair, feeling every inch of my skin getting stuck on the diving suit. Yuck. I googled like there was no tomorrow using voice recognition (my hands were too sore to type) until I found out the issue: the sea has salty water! Heaven’s sake! Whose idea was it?!  

Hungry for more? 🙂

Guess What, I’m an Alien! (Chapter 1)

alien-arcade-background-1670977

28th of May, 2019

Today, at 9.07 am the doctor told me I was an alien. An alien? What was that supposed to mean? “You might have noticed you have 3 eyes”. Well, of course. There have always been there. What was the problem with that? “Well, you see… normal people usually have only 2”. Normal people? Usually? Too much for today. I’ll go to sleep and pretend all this never happened.

1st of June, 2019

I can’t read the numbers on the whiteboard but apparently no one cares. This morning, the optometrist told me that unfortunately, they don’t provide glasses for 3 eyes. “There has never been a need to manufacture 3-eyed glasses in the current market” – he remarked. My migraine is killing me so I wasn’t ready to give up yet: “Is there any alternative? Contact lenses maybe?” He had to check with his manager. After 2 minutes and 66 seconds, he came over and awkwardly stared at me. He obviously didn’t know where to look, but he was trying to act professionally. He smiled nervously. I jumped to the rescue: “Just choose one eye. It doesn’t really matter which one. But please. Could you provide me with contact lenses? I really struggle to read the signs when I drive”. Oh boy, you should have seen that. His chin dramatically dropped. He started mumbling, trying to find the right words. I interrupted: “What about laser surgery?” Apparently they’ve never performed this procedure to people like me. But hey, how different would that be? They’re just eyes. Why was everyone so scared of them?

Ready for the next chapter? 😉