I have chronically bloodshot eyes.
And I know why.
I have this strange habit of sleeping with my eyes open.
I wish I could say it was because during my ninja days I had to sleep with my eyes open, so I could thwart any cowardly attacks. I wish I could say it was because the aliens told me to watch for their secret sign signaling their return for me.
I think it’s just because my eyelids aren’t long enough.
Some nights are worse than others. I can always tell when it’s been a bad night. I walk up to the mirror, open my eyes wide and make a couple of silly faces at myself. There it is. A distinct line on my eyeball. It is clear and white above where my eyelid sat all night, and tortured and red below where the air mercilessly sucked moisture.
I raise my fist and shout, “Stupid air! Stupid eyeballs!!!”
I don’t usually do that, but I think I’ll try it next time. It might be satisfying.
I asked my eye doctor about it once during an exam.
“Mr. Eye Doctor,” I said, “I sleep with my eyes open and they are always bloodshot as a result. What can I do?”
“Tape your eyes shut.”
I laughed. He didn’t.
“You’re serious. Tape my eyes shut?”
“Yip.” He was making notes in my folder. Crazy woman. Most….. likely….. vampire.
So I tried taping my eyes. It was strange waking up, but I could tell right away that my eyes were going to be moist and normal. As I started to peel off the tape, I realized that I hadn’t thought the whole thing out very well. The skin on the eyelid is very sensitive and very….. elastic. After several painful minutes, I had lost a few layers of skin and several eyelashes.
Round two: I had the brilliant idea of using a cotton ball under the tape. So I had medical tape from my eyebrow to my cheek, with a cotton ball protecting my tender eyelid and remaining eyelashes.
As usual, I slept on my side with my face buried fiercely into my pillow.
In the morning, the tape came off beautifully. No ripping off tissue or hair. However, I couldn’t see out of my one eye.
The pressure of the cotton ball had reshaped my eye, and my vision was blurred until about 4 in the afternoon.
So I gave up on the Taping of the Eyes.
Now the ninja world trembles with terror, for Natalie again sleeps with her eyes open.