Kage Baker loved countdowns. She enjoyed the stately glissade down to an event – well-regulated anticipation was something she savored. Big red X’s on calendars were one of her favourite things – unless it was a special calendar, which had to remain untouched (she had several of those, which she re-used regardless of the year) in which case what it got were sticky notes with big red X’s on them.
I am now on the 7 days countdown for cataract surgery, Dear Readers, and I am full of impatience and complaint.
It’s only for my left eye, but the left one is so much worse than the right that as long as that one gets fixed, I shall be fine for several months. Today I had the pre-op physical, to make sure that my heart will not stop nor any interior organs rise up and attack the doctors while my useless cornea gets replaced. It’s only a local anesthetic, but I don’t blame them for wanting to be sure my wonky heart does not complicate a routine procedure.
And then – I will be able to see again! Depth perception will once again be mine. I can once more pour coffee and eat with a fork, there will be no more antic rings around lights – though I must admit, the Halloween lights look positively psychedelic through my left eye right now. Coruscations! Cascades! Slo-mo explosions of light and color!
And a great showy way to fall down the front steps. The raccoons applaud.
Speaking of which – raccoons, I mean – the little buggers have been especially active and wicked this season. They climb the mulberry tree and attempt to rob the squirrel feeder – we empty it at night, for just that reason, but they evidently feel it’s better to check every night to make sure. Then they lose their balance and fall out; sometimes they land on a skunk, which is … unfortunate for everyone. They also get stuck in the tree, and when you walk under them they stretch out pleading little evil black-gloved hands to beg for aid. My poor Nephew Mike finds this especially heartbreaking.
They’ve also been having night-races on the roof again. Like every other time they do this, there are casualties – the bad drivers who miss the turns, bounce off the retaining wall around the roof, and then fall off into the bushes. And by the time that happens, I am already awake from the stampeding of little hoofs back and forth over my head. I know, I know – they look like paws. But at night raccoons either grow hooves, or put on iron boots. Cats do that, too.
And with the rapid onset of blindness in my left eye, my sleeping patterns have gone completely doo-lolly. I tend to sleep fitfully every 18 hours or so, regardless of day or night … normal vision is, I am told, almost certain to restore my ability to sleep at a slightly more normal rate. Oh, I hope so!
In the meantime, I am usually awake to hear the raccoons wreak riot. I am therefore considering arming myself to scare them off. My heart’s desire is for a shotgun – the weapon of choice for someone who has no aim – ever since I found that there are flash-bang and bean bag rounds available for 12-gauge shotguns. However, various sensible friends have since convinced me that this puerile desire for noise and explosions will get me arrested. They have suggested methods that – while less dramatic – will probably be more effective …
And really, Dear Readers – I really shouldn’t consider taking up firearms until my eyes are both functional again. Wouldn’t that make more sense? It would, right? I should be mature about it. Kage would be horrified at the idea of me with a shotgun.
Though she’d have been a dead-eye shot, shooting … but I will have to content myself with more big red X’s.