Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pink Eye, or Glass Half Empty



This week has been one big suck. It all started Sunday night when my eye started itching painfully and filling with an unsightly substance. Yeah, as my title has already indicated, the dreaded pink eye (a.k.a., conjunctivitis, a term which actually references the nature of the effluvium that quickly accumulates in the eye socket). I'll let it be known right now that I have never had pink eye; as a matter of fact, I've never had a single problem with my eyes. So you can imagine this came as a disgusting shock. I called the doctor to get the ointment (another unpleasant word) to cure myself, but she told me I had to wait another day, in case it was viral. As we all know, it's easier to get a gun permit than a prescription for an antibiotic these days. And this gatekeeper wasn't about to give me access to the goods until I had suffered long and hard.

It wasn't until I woke up the next morning that I actually realized how unbearably loathsome this ailment is. After I decrusted my eye, I was left with a swollen, bloodshot orb that could not be calmed with ice or make up. Great. So off to work I went, oozing and pussing, to face the 100 students I teach every day, fully prepared to be ostracized in the manner only teenagers are capable of. Thankfully, the school secretary (another gatekeeper) saved me that humiliation by sending me home immediately after she got one look at me (as she simultaneously took three steps back from her desk, an incredulous look on her face. Didn't I know this was a high school? What the hell was I thinking?). The rest of the day was spent trying to get that eye salve, which I eventually did after hours on the phone with the covering nurse who, I am convinced, thought I was trying to obtain it to sell it on the underground market. Jesus.

The next day, cream in eye, I actually made it into the school. Sure, I was still hideously ugly and everyone avoided me, but I made it in. I was experiencing a momentary spike in optimism when I found out that I had been overlooked, yet again, to give the faculty commencement address. And worse, the man who had been chosen is the same man who is going "against" me in a bid for the department chair position next year.

A word about this man, whom I will refer to simply as "my rival." As rivals go, he's one in a million. He's actually just about perfect. My rival is an incredibly creative and demanding teacher, he has a wicked sense of humor, AND he's good looking. Oh, and his wife is a good friend of mine. As you can imagine, the discovery of the new feather in his cap left me (the pariah) feeling more than a little worried about my prospects even as I congratulated him heartily on his newly received honor. And THEN, today, he threw a surprise baby shower for a woman in our department during a meeting. My rival is playing hardball. He even bought her a bottle of gin -- there's that goddamn sense of humor I was talking about -- which tickled everyone to no end. For a moment, I felt like marching myself down to the office and pulling my application. Interviews will be held in the next two weeks, and I thought maybe I could still get out of this with some of my integrity... Is it really better to try than to never know? Smashed egos can be fixed, or so I've heard, but I have this vision of spending the rest of my career being the department loser. On the other hand, I do get to buy a new drop-dead suit for the interview, and Bev has already promised to take me out and get me smashed if I don't get it. What's the worst that could happen? A vomit-covered suit and two more bloodshot eyes?

9 comments:

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

Dear Pinkie,
I think they let that "other" guy make the speech cause they are saving the big prize for you. It was a mere crumb tossed in his direction.

And we are getting that drink when you get the job too.

Gorilla Bananas said...

How about wearing a pair of dark glasses like a film star? You could say you're doing it to avoid hypnotizing people with the pink peeper. Hope it gets well soon.

Brandon G. said...

Yikes! I hope your eye gets to be less pink. Also, if you want me to break that guy's legs, let me know.

womaninblack71 said...

In the name of all that is holy, what is happening in that last picture of the eye? Is it being levered open with chicken bones?
I had a dendritic ulcer in my eye as a child, and every week had to have it lasered. For some reason (for a laugh, perhaps) the medics would squirt yellow dye into both eyes which made me look like a werewolf. It lasted for days. My nickname during this time was 'pus eye'. But I'm over it now (weeps, gnashes teeth, heads out to collect more road kill).

Deborah said...

You're a devilishly devoted teacher, being so eager to go to work, even though your health is obviously protesting!
Surely your employer will have noticed!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oooh, I'm very squeemish about eyes and teeth and all that sort of thing. But, like with sets of teeth, you could get yourself a couple of nice false ones and never have any bother again!

Ana said...

Sorry this has taken me so long... the eyes are better, as is my ego.

Bev: Thanks for your constant encouragement. What a downer I am lately!

Mr. GB: Thank you for the well wishes. I went out and bought myself a pair with rhinestones on the side. I feel so much better!

Brandon: I might take you up on that! ;-)

WIB: Ugh! You poor thing! Nothing like an scarring childhood memory to make one grateful.

Deborah: Would it be bad if I said I love coming to work to escape my two toddlers? ESPECIALLY on Mondays.. but either way...

Gadjo! Thanks for stopping! I saw on your profile that you list The Third Man and Moby Dick amongst your favorites! They are mine, too! Strange, huh? I've read MD nine times -- I'm a bit like Ishmael, I think. Who are you? Stubb? Ahab? The Parsee? ;-)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ana, the pleasure is mine! I'd settle for being Ismael - a splendid "everyman" - though I'd like to imagine I have some of Starbuck's wisdom and quiet fortitude in me as well. However, I'd really to be Moby himself :-)

Eva said...

OK, add pink eye to my list of pet peeves. You can place it nicely between dolls and blood tests... I usually need to be strapped to a chair AND held by four strong men in order to put some drops in my eyes... I'm glad you're feeling better from that point of view (ahem..). Don't worry about the job, one kind of doll I'm not afraid of using are those of the voodoo kind...