We’re Still on the Eye Surgery Jack Had a Couple of Years Ago
When Donald Trump Had Not Been President For Long
Surgery. Smooth, smooth surgery. I w—well, you know, they didn’t tell me, but I have to go back. They only told me today. We have to drive back up to Memphis tomorrow for a follow-up. Anastasia’s got her Pride Week parade that she was really the leader and organizer of. Errrruh, but I think it’s going to time out well, and anyway, she’s very… kindly insisting that… other people can do this and that while she drives me back and forth to Memphis. I think she’ll be back in plenty of time, though.
Nothing much to t—I mean there i—there are a lot of little funny details, I guess. But I don’t have a bubble in my eye. I didn’t know… having a bubble in your eye was a possibility. It’s kind of set up like M*A*S*H 4077. There are patients sprawled all around in disarray. Or, really, in array. And I kept hearing… I heard more than once, “Now, remember, you have a bubble in your eye! You have a bubble in your eye!” To more than… yes. As I hope I made clear, to more than one patient. Well, more than one patient came out of surgery with a bubble in his or her eye. [Throat noise.] Uhh… I was told… I guess they tell you either way, because I was told, after being wheeled into the… uh… into a… a room… “You don’t have a bubble in your eye! So you can do whatever you want. Now if you had a bubble in your eye, you’d…” Uh, and then I didn’t really understand what [laughter]… and why should I care? I mean I care for those… I… feel for those people with bubbles in their eyes. But…
She told me a little bit of what life would be like for me for the next few days if… had I a bubble in my eye. “You’d have to look down!” I think that’s what she said! “You’d have to keep looking down! But you don’t have a bubble in your eye.” [Laughter.]
Anastasia reports that the waiting room was similarly hellish to the last waiting room we were in. There was a man talking on his cellphone loudly about Nas—Naa—Na—Nuh—Nassau? And things that people should do when there. And his wife, meanwhile, was talking about her hydrangea plants on her cellphone, both, you know, in cacophony. Meanwhile, the television—always a blaring television in every waiting room now—was, uh, fizzing in and out. It was on the fritz. So it would go silent and then it would suddenly blink back on in… in the midst of some panicky news report. Shootings in Memphis. Robberies. Donald Trump. The House vote to repeal Obamacare. Old people and poor people out on the street! On and off.
Uh, the doctor… [music] removed my eye patch and proclaimed his work… [music; rattling sigh] much like God, he said it was good.
And have I mentioned Alec Baldwin lately? In his role as a… cocky surgeon in everyone’s favorite thriller Malice? ‘Cause I think my… my surgeon has a… touch of… that. I said, “Uh, there’s still floaters in that eye,” and he said, “Well, it’s better than the million you had yesterday.” Which is true! How can you argue with that?
Lotta buzzards on the road to Memphis. Uh, Anastasia’s coworker K. told us of an easier route to this eye clinic, where he’s had to go several times, and, as Anastasia informed me, he did have a bubble in his eye. So she knew about—all about the bubbles in the eyes. Nobody told me about the bubbles in the eyes!
Anyway, an inordinate amount of buzzards. Uh…
And we go through a town called Byhalia and see things like the Byha—Byhalia City Hall, and the Byhalia Volunteer Fire Department, all of which sound, uh, lovely for some re—and it made me think of that song “Bali Ha’i” from the musical South Pacific.
Then, of course, there was a tuxedo rental place in Byhalia. I don’t know why [short laugh] I said “of course.” In fact, I thought it was curious that they need a tuxedo rental place when they’re so close to Memphis. Uh… can Byhalia really, uh, support a tuxedo rental… but… oh yeah, when we were driving back we heard a local radio advertisement from a woman who’s… who said that God had given—given her healing… hands. Come to her house and she’ll… uh, tell you what to do with your life, and heal you… uh, and help you with your problems. She also has love potions for sale and all her work is guaranteed.
In conclusion, my eye hurts. I need to put some drops in it. Anastasia’s at a parade, which she organized. I hope there’s no trouble. You know, last year it was such a delightful thing. It was the first time that our town, here in the South, the deep South, has ever had a… gay pride… parade. It went off, you know, more than beautifully. It was… nyihhhhh… it was, uh… it seemed like a… an emblem of a… of a sea change. And yet—then this year, nyihrrrrrrrrr, with Donald Trump freshly in office, it feels… scary… hulllpp… in the sense that, you know, wuh—angry nutjobs… are more… likely! It seems we’ve taken a step backwards. Not the state of Mississippi, as you might expect, but the nation seems… last year I was sitting in a bar, which has since closed, and I was, uh, having a… maybe a Sazerac? And… here came the parade. And bursting from the bar across the street were… two trombonists who started playing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and… just in this, I guess it’s something they planned themselves, just these two guys, and… as a show of support, and it was joyous. And… uhhhh… magical! And this year… I hope it’s… I hope it’s wonderful again.
Please come along to the next chapter.
Jack Pendarvis has written five books. He won two Emmys for his work on the TV show Adventure Time. During a period of light employment, he spoke into a digital recorder whenever the mood struck him and transcribed the results, accumulating the two thousand pages from which this column has been extracted.