2 | Kind of Scared

On January 29, 2017, I stared at myself in the mirror in my bedroom, the one that hangs on the wall to the right of the bed. I stand in my underwear, a foot away from the glass, opening and closing my left eye. My optometrist appointment was the next day, and I had decided to do a final experiment before going to sleep that night – after all, I’d probably made the whole thing up, hypochondriac that I was, and I wanted to be sure the problem was even worth bringing up to a physician.

Left eyelid open: I can see my whole face. Left eyelid closed: I’m missing a nose. Open: all there. Closed: blank in the middle.

1 | Noticing

Sometime in mid-January, my vision changed. I noticed that if I closed my left eye, a grey cloud appeared right in the center of my vision.

I tested it for a few days before I said anything, even before I allowed myself any judgments about it – because, surely, it was a fluke.

But each time, I saw a clear peripheral image and a blank grey cloud in the center and distortion at its edges, through which no light passed. I could not read out of my right eye; I could not study my children’s faces; I could not see the names of street signs.