One of the few things that unites me with my two flatmates, Saffy and Amanda is our collective myopia. We’re all blind as bats. Without our assorted visual aids, we’d be forever bumping into a wall. Which is why when an ocular catastrophe happens to one of us, it’s of immediate deep concern, galvanizing the entire flat into a flurry of frantic and often pointless activity. United we stand, divided we fall with blurred vision.
So, you can imagine the chaos a few days ago when Amanda came out of the bathroom and announced that she was going blind.
“I’m going blind!” were her exact words before she burst into tears and fell to the floor, sobbing dramatically.
“What? What? What?” Saffy immediately started shouting, racing to Amanda’s side.
“I can’t see!” Amanda wailed, hands covering her eyes. “Everything has gone blurry!”
“Well, wear your contacts then!” Saffy said, clutching Amanda maternally to her heaving bosom.
“I am wearing them!” Amanda moaned. “I can’t see a thing!”
“Blink hard!” Saffy advised. “Sometimes, you just need to clear the air from the contacts.”
“I’ve tried everything,” Amanda sniffed. “I’ve put eye-drops. Rotated the lenses. Taken them out. Put them back in. Nothing. Nothing is in focus. I’m going blind!”
An emergency phone call was made to the optometrist. “I’m going to sue if he’s damaged my eyes!” Amanda said stoutly, her killer legal instincts briefly reasserting themselves.
“Uh huh. Uh huh. We’ve tried that,” Saffy said into the phone. “Uh huh. Mmmm. Nope, tried that as well. She’s blind. Uh huh? Really? Huh!”
When she hanged up, she reported that Mark, the cute optometrist had instructed us to come down at once to his office. By the time we arrived, we were all slightly breathless and a little ill tempered on account of a little mascara accident. On the way there in the cab, Amanda insisted Saffy help her put on some make-up.
“I can’t show up looking like a dog!” Amanda said, ever conscious of potential dating opportunities in any situation. Just then, the cab suddenly swerved to avoid a bus and Saffy’s hand slipped while fluffing Amanda’s eye-lashes, drawing a thick black slash across Amanda’s forehead.
“I don’t see why it’s my fault that the cab swerved!” Saffy grumbled to me as Amanda groped her way into Mark’s office. “And hello, but don’t you think there are more urgent things to worry about at the moment besides her stupid make-up? Ooh, maybe I should see Mark since I’m here. I’m also having trouble with my vision.”
Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I’d turned off the stove before rushing out of the flat. It’s funny how people react differently to a crisis.
Amanda wasn’t in there very long before she emerged. Somehow, she’d managed to fix her hair and tidy up her make-up and was presently beaming up at Mark.
“Oh, thank you!” she lisped attractively, laying a hand gently on his arm. “You were just wonderful! Simply wonderful!”
As it turned out, Amanda wasn’t going blind after all. In the misty gloom of our bathroom, she’d mistakenly switched her contact lenses, inserting them into the wrong eyes.
“I can’t believe how silly I was!” she exclaimed cheerfully, the world suddenly bright again as we waited for Saffy’s examination to be over. “And Mark’s asked me out on a date.”
“How do you do that?” I demanded jealously. “You just breathe and you get dates!”
Meanwhile, the world was not as bright for Saffy.
“It’s outrageous!” she reported later. “He says my vision is a bit wonky because the eyes are dried out because I don’t shut my eyes fully how is that at all humanly possible that I don’t shut my eyes fully and how come you got asked for a date?”
“You mean you sleep with your eyes half open?” Amanda gasped. “Like a snake?”
“Apparently!” Saffy huffed. “He wants me to check if my eyes are closed when I sleep and how am I supposed to do that if I’m supposed to be asleep men can be so stupid!”
Then a thought occurred to her and she turned to me. “You have to sleep with me tonight and watch how my eyelids close! I can’t ask Amanda – she’s such an auntie, she can’t stay up past 10 o’clock!”
So here I am in bed with Saffy and she’s only just fallen asleep. I can feel my allergies acting up. It’s very dusty in here and there are far too many pink frills about. It’s incredible what I have to put up with. Meanwhile, I’m too scared to move in case I wake Saffy but I’m a bit concerned that I may have left the stove on after dinner.