This time, last week I was at my local supermarket, crying in the snacks aisle. Rrruffles has rrridgessss! The blue bag of chips screamed, but I couldn’t see the ridges on the cover picture.They looked like flat, fuzzy potato chips. Also, having consumed a few bags of chips over the last couple of weeks to ease the knots in my stomach, I knew from memory that Ruffles definitely had ridges and there weren’t so many extra R’s in the slogan. I was seeing double. An hour before that, I was at the optician. What was supposed to be a simple appointment for reading glasses turned into you-need-to-see-a-specialist-pronto sort of discussion. I’ve been myopic for as long as I can remember. But now, it turned out, I had astigmatism with dry eyes and my usual myopia on the side, sort of like sous-vide chicken with chimichurri sauce and mashed potatoes on the side, except a lot less palatable. Before that, on my way to the optician, I had passed a shrine by the sidewalk. Three incense sticks some hard candy, a take-out container with what looked like chicken rice –maybe the deceased’s favorite food. The morbidity of this scene sat on my shoulders, on top of thoughts of who will care for the kids if my husband and I both caught the virus, which were already on top of the worry I was feeling for my parents and sister in India and my friends and family in the US. My vision problems got on the wagon too and I broke down in the snacks aisle.
Nobody looked or cared. I wouldn’t know if anyone did. Everyone has masks on these days.I went home, cried some more on my husband’s shoulder and slept.
The specialist didn’t have anything different or encouraging to say. It is what it is. We’re dealing with one problem at a time. So dry eyes is first — drops for a month and reduced screen time. I’m doing great at one of them, the other one, not so much. I’ve stopped following Co-vid’s journey closely — that counts for reduced screen time, right? I’m writing, although with a lot more punctuation and spelling errors. I’ve dropped out of some writing contests, declined Whatsapp calls, spent a lot of time with my kids — dancing and painting, making DIY slime and cleaning up glittery messes, and I’m okay.
I’m okay. For now. That’s all we have anyway.