Friday, May 26, 2017

Scar: Written for Thursday Writing Group

I began this tale yesterday when my husband bought Gorilla Superglue to repair his shoe, which was separating from the sole. After I wrote for a while and the story seemed dull, I was ready to quit but then stuck with it.

It all began when I was cleaning the house. As I dragged the vacuum from floor to floor, my acrylic fingernail popped off. I had Superglue on hand for just such small nail repairs.

Do you remember the TV ads for Superglue where they showed a ship hung off a lift bonded by only two drops of the stuff? Back then, the formula was powerful and it would stick objects together instantly. We loved the glue for household repairs and it was excellent for fingernails.

But my eyesight wasn’t great and when I worked close-up. I’d have to get within inches of my target. That day I crouched over my nail and squeezed the Superglue onto it. Zap! The side of the tube ruptured and a glob shot straight into my right eye—the one that does most of the seeing. The pain was horrible. I sat stunned for a few seconds. The acute, piercing pain persisted as if I had needles in the eye. I felt my way to the medicine cabinet, got the eye drops and squirted them in. Nothing relieved the searing pain.

My husband was away; I was alone, and I didn’t dare try driving myself. Using my unglued eye, I called a cab to take me to the ER. When I checked in holding a towel over my watering, burning eye, the first thing they did was drip an anaesthetic into it. Instantly, it was like going from hell to heaven. Even though this event occurred over thirty years ago, I still recall the whoosh of relief. Soon, a doctor entered the room and after a few jokes, presaging what was to come, he removed the congealed glue glob with tiny tweezers. All was well, but the damaged cornea required rest. They sent me home wearing an eye patch like Moshe Dayan*, with instructions to keep it on for ten days.

Walk around with an eye patch for a while and see how many people ask you what happened. Over and over, I repeated my story until I had it reduced to three words: Superglue, fingernail, eye. Almost everybody had their own Superglue story to tell me and I couldn’t ignore them. I realized the fifty-page book of cautions and “do nots” inserted in the glue package was essential. People will try to glue anything onto everything, given the opportunity.

I heard funny stories and sad stories. One unforgettable tale which I heard from a nurse friend, was both. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

She worked in an ER where they admitted a man with his penis Superglued to his abdomen. A crude note by his wife, glued into the mess, revealed the gist of his problem. It seems he was a serial cheater and his wife was sick of his behavior. That night when he came home in the wee hours and fell asleep drunk on the sofa, she woke up and wrought her fury upon him. Carefully she lifted his over-used pecker and stretching it to full capacity, Superglued it to his abdomen. When he woke up and realized what had happened he headed to the hospital. The ER people got him unstuck and send him home, embarrassed and chastened. I wonder what they recommended for his at-home care? My advice to him would be to drive to a hotel and never go back. I’m betting there was a divorce and I wonder who would was the “injured party” in the farcical scenario?  (I googled this story and found similar things reported in the news over the years.)

As for me, I learned my lesson. I never cleaned a house again.

“I have only one eye. Do you want me to look at the road or the at the speedometer.” Moshe Dayan

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