Recently I thought I was on the brink of a life-threatening medical condition. By the end of the day I was turning it to my advantage.
It began on Wednesday morning, when after a heavy sleep I got out of bed and found I couldn't see properly. I could do the whole 'light and dark, shapes and colours' bit, but I was having difficulty with the concept of focusing. Which is a pretty integral part of being able to see, according to experts in this field.
After performing a few complex actions to resolve the situation (opening my eyes wider, shutting them again, blinking rapidly) I found that things were not improving. It was still a little blurry, but I had at least narrowed the problem down to one eye.
I still went to work, of course. Well, I have to. Sight or no sight, I need to retain my ability to buy socks. And other things, I suppose.
Walking from the car park to the office I tried the get my right eye to stop playing up, until I realised that it looked like I was winking uncontrollably at that pretty girl from Human Resources. Considering that there was probably a policy about that sort of thing, I stopped.
It was while I was sitting at my desk that I allowed my mind to wander. Pressing my right eye socket with a thumb brought about a dull ache. That's it, I thought to myself. There's something malignant there for sure. I allowed myself a brief moment of self-pity and concern before another thought hove into view.
What a great opportunity.
If life gives you lemons, they say, make lemonade. Substitute 'lemons' for 'life-changing medical condition' and 'make lemonade' with 'write something bloody awesome' and you get the general idea.
It says something about me that I'd look upon my impending mortality as subject matter. And I'm not proud of it. But on the other hand, well, look, we're halfway through March and I've written sod-all. The three people that still read this are impatient for content.
I thought on, allowing the vital spreadsheet-based tasks in front of me to wait a little longer.
It could be the beginnings of one of those life-affirming tales. My struggle against the odds. Inspirational and wise, but shot through with home-spun humour. I'd already got the first chapter forming in my mind. My doctor would be a genius, I imagined. He'd be a little stand-offish, maybe he'd walk with the use of a stick. In the inevitable film adaptation I'd have him played by an American actor doing an eerily accurate English accent. Just to restore the balance, you see.
My story would have to have other characters. Katie would need to play a part, of course. I could imagine her. She'd be supportive, naturally, but grounded. She wouldn't stand any nonsense. "Never mind about the bloody Pulitzer people," she'd say, "there's still this laundry to be done, you know."
I think that's a part she was born to play.
The day progressed and my right eye continued to pound away. Every time I jabbed it with my thumb, another stabbing pain seemed to validate the impending medical emergency/Booker Prize potential. How exciting!
I came home, my mind filled with all sorts of possibilities. I spent a restless night imagining prognoses and plot lines.
On Thursday morning I got out of bed. My vision was perfectly clear, my eye untroubled by any nagging pain. I seemed to be completely cured. Apparently, it seems you can send your vision temporarily wonky by sleeping heavily on your face. I can't see this making the bestseller lists, to be honest.