Since he was eleven years old Brandon wore glasses. Despite the enthusiastic claims of his family, glasses didn’t open his world to new vistas. If anything, they held him back. Because of his glasses, he couldn’t play football. Or hockey. Girls at his school didn’t think guys with glasses were attractive. Things got worse after he graduated from high school. Brandon learned that glasses would keep him from realizing his life-long dream of becoming an airline pilot.
When Brandon first learned about laser eye surgery, his heart leapt for joy. All the brochures he read promised that it would be a life altering experience. Life altering was what he wanted. Over the next several months he worked for the sole purpose of saving up for the surgery.
At his consultation, the doctor recommended PRK. It would require a longer healing period, but it would be more effective for his condition. All Brandon heard was ‘healing’. Healing is good.
The day of his surgery Brandon came to the surgery alone. In his mind that wasn’t a problem. He expected to leave the operating room seeing the world afresh. He would be healed.
What he felt was pain unlike anything he’d ever known. Like his eyes had been seared with a branding iron. Then poked with a red hot poker. Then stung by bees. With the help of one of the surgical staff, he was led by the hand to the pharmacy.
“You had laser eye surgery, eh? Well, the pain will be intense for a couple of days. Take these as needed for pain,” said the pharmacist. He handed Brandon a bottle of dilaudid and another of toradol.
Brandon grabbed his bag of medicine and stumbled out of the store. Along the way he knocked over a display of sunblock and walked into a window.
When he arrived back at the Laser Clinic, the receptionist called him a cab. While he waited, Brandon secured a glass of water for his medicine. “Take these as needed,” he said to himself. He took three each of the dilaudid and the toradol, then fell asleep.
The next thing he knew he was being attacked by sunglasses. Two of them carried him into a giant banana. A mushroom flew the banana across the back of an elephant to a chinese food container. All the while the mushroom yelled at Brandon, telling him to bring the rain.
“Hey mister tallyman, tally me banana,” was Brandon’s response.
When the mushroom spoke again, this time about meal worms, Brandon shouted, “I wanna lick the frog. I’m starting to feel Seattle.”
The banana splashed down and Brandon was whisked away by a tornado. He landed next to a porcelain waterfall. The last thing he saw before blacking out was turquoise water crashing on a sandy beach.
When Brandon came to, he was in a hospital bed. The light pierced his eyes and his temples throbbed. Someone entered the room, but it hurt too much to look.
“Welcome back,” said a female voice.
“Am I still in Jamaica?”
“No, you’re in the General. You were found in the bathroom of a mall babbling about being swallowed by a banana,” said the woman. She lowered the blinds and darkened the room.
Brandon slowly opened his eyes. “I can see you.”
“Hon, after all the drugs you took, I’m surprised you can see anything.”
“Better living through chemistry,” said Brandon.