Se vuol ballare, signor contino….

This morning, Mother wrote to remind me to make an eye appointment. She’s making me paranoid—first that spot-on Christmas trolling, now this sudden concern for my eyes. Is she reading this thing? If she is, she’s seen me naked. (I mean, she’s my mother. Obviously she’s seen me naked. But she shouldn’t still be subjected to that, not at this point in her life.

(I did make the appointment, by the way. I made it last night, before she reminded me. It’s for the end of next month. I hope that won’t be too late. This decline’s becoming precipitous.)

Other news, other news—oh! I reached the midpoint, today, on the first entry in that romance trilogy. I’m doing all right, I think, matching the last author’s style, though the editor dinged me for importing one of her favourite words. “Overused,” she called it, and it was, but I got butthurt all the same. I did that for headpats and I got a rolled-up newspaper. Teach me to copy mistakes. It’s like that time in school, I was sitting a history exam. I didn’t mean to peek, but I did, and I saw an answer that didn’t match mine. I copied that answer. It was wrong. Instant karma.

I feel like I’ve been asking myself this too much lately, but why do I do these things?

The editor was lovely. Her notes were a dream, clear and concise, and let’s not forget flattering. I’m stuck on that one because, oh…I do beg for love. Not, like, explicitly, but I’ll try things like that. I’ll go fishing for praise, and when I don’t get any—

(I got plenty.)

—when I don’t get any, I sulk.

Internet, man, I’ve got that BAD DOG feeling. Over one borrowed word.

Oh! I almost forgot! I hit the one million word mark today. For this year, I mean. I wrote one million words. One million for work. I wonder if that’s more words or fewer than, say, a data entry specialist might do, or an HR rep? A million words, that feels like a lot. Last year, it was six hundred thousand something. I wrote more this year, but I earned less money, because last year I did two series that paid royalties. Per-word is okay, but no bestseller windfalls.

You know what else happened today? I got the hiccups. I got them about two hours before I hit my million. I had to stop and wait them out—I kept making typos, and I couldn’t see the screen, and I had to keep picking up my laptop and holding it close to my face….

What will I do if I go blind? I’m afraid of…not the dark, exactly, but not having any distractions. I need things to do with my hands, and what could I do with no eyes? What could I do in the dark that would be as absorbing as playing a videogame? As comforting as reading a book? Jesus, how would I check expiry dates? I’d never eat again.

I can’t be blind. I can’t eat without knowing if there’s mould.

Could I get a mould-sniffing dog?

My place is small, which is good. I could still get around without sight. No surprises, sort of thing. But, like…what if I forgot a pair of horrible period panties on the floor, and I couldn’t see them, and my housekeeper saw?

(She’s probably seen worse.)

Life is embarrassing. The human body is embarrassing. I can’t live without dignity. I don’t want to die.

New specs, those should fix me. New specs. I’m getting old. Everyone’s eyes go around forty. And it’s definitely not Marfan’s syndrome. Definitely not dislocated lenses. I was supposed to get an echocardiogram to rule all that out, but I’m a coward, so I didn’t. This is how hypochondria starts. Some doctor tells you “get checked for this,” and you don’t, and its spectre just haunts you….

(Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me—what song is that? Who sings it?)

My day wasn’t eventful.

My imagination is compensating with fear. Charming.

I’m going to bed.

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