Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Times are hard, and I work in a business that is slowly becoming obsolete. People are steering away from glasses and contact lenses to Lasik surgery and more permanent, feasible choices in the field of eye care. I’ve never been the type to collect my thoughts and put them down, and yet these have been the toughest months to endure as of late. My wife left me, along with alimony and a good chunk of everything I’ve struggled to build since I was in my early twenties. I don’t know if I’ll make my mortgage payment on time for the third month in a row. This hole is going to be impossible to climb out of.
Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Got a phone call from corporate and had to terminate the positions of two employees. Stan has been here for seventeen years. He was a good eye doctor. I have a strong suspicion that more permanent layoffs are on the way. I had to go to a dealership and downgrade my vehicle, but the sales tax almost cleaned out my bank account.
Friday, August 7th, 2009
I was helping Stan take his things out of the office today and a new vendor approached me. He works for some company called “New Vision,” and their prices are better than every other type of lenses we carry. They don’t do glasses or frames. Only contacts. He gave a pretty convincing argument, so I filled my own prescription with their lenses and I’m going to put them in tomorrow morning and try them out. This may be the small boost we need to stay open. I hope so.
Saturday, August 8th, 2009
I called New Vision and told them my office was on board. I should have talked to our regional division manager before cutting the deal, but he treats me like garbage and routinely tells me that my office is in last place in every category but customer service. He says customer service doesn’t make money if you sacrifice profits. He’s not a doctor. These lenses feel more natural and it seems like the material adapts to light better than any other brand that I’ve seen in my twenty plus years as an optometrist. I’m going to keep using them myself. I mowed my lawn today, and I swear I could see every blade of grass. Maybe our patients will drop some greenbacks to try these out.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
I prescribed my first pair of New Vision lenses to a patient today. He’s a six year old boy who was blind as bat before we fitted his eyes. His mother was concerned that six is too young for contacts, but after she saw him looking around and nailing the entire test on the wall, letter for letter and number for number, I convinced her to try them out. If I can get a pair of these out every day, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve stopped taking mine out at night because they don’t bother me like normal lenses do in the morning. I feel like I could leave them in forever.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
I’ve prescribed them to thirty eight patients and it seems that word of mouth is sending more people my way. People are dropping HydraSoft and Toric left and right. The vendor from the company came by today and put a great ad in my office window. “See things in a new light. Fit some New Vision lenses today!” They also guarantee that you’ll read at least a line below where you normally would on the wall with any other vendor. They won’t tell me what the lenses are made of, but as good as they feel, I’m not hesitating to give my patients the best choice. The regional manager called again and congratulated me on turning business around. He’ll probably take credit for it at the board meeting. What an ass.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
I traded in and got a Mercedes, and I offered Stan his job back. I told him he’d have to convince people to go with New Vision when pitching patients because with the healthcare reform bill on the way, this product is our only trump card. Without it, people will go somewhere else. I’m going to install a plasma TV on the wall in the reception area so people can watch football while they wait on their appointment. People love football. Whatever it takes to get people in the door.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
Stan tried them out and he’s fifty five. He’s reading better than he was in his thirties, or so he says. We went to lunch today and he drives faster than usual; maybe it’s because he can see the road better.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
I’m a little rattled. I called New Vision today to order more product and to fill some prescriptions with some pending patients, but the line has been disconnected. I called the vendor’s personal cell and heard some sort of odd sound. You know when you’re sitting at a campfire and you can hear wood burning and popping in the flames? It sounded like that. Maybe their phones are down or there’s a power outage. I’m not sure. I’ll call them on a regular business day.
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
I feel strange. I tried to go to mass with my mother today. I try to go to church with her at least once a month. I walked through the front doors of the chapel, and my vision started going blurry. The membranes around my eyes felt like they were going to burst open. I didn’t bring my glasses so I had to sit outside before we went to Sunday lunch. I think it was just a headache or a spasm or something. I’m not too worried about it.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
I’m frightened. Something wrong happened today. I fitted a 13-year-old girl for contacts, and while I was looking in to her dialated pupil, something appeared in the apparatus lens that hangs from the ceiling when I looked through it. It seemed like a bat, except its eyes were on fire, and it was getting closer and closer to my eye the longer that I stared in to the scope. I looked away before it got too big. I think I’ve been working too much and I may take a personal day. Stan is going to backfill my patients in to his schedule.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
I almost died today. I wish I would have. I went to the old house in New Haven that now belongs to my wife, thanks to the courts. On the way, I stopped at a McDonald’s, and the girl in the drive-thru window looked like she was going to kill me. Her eyes caught on fire and her teeth elongated, and her voice sounded like one of those mechanical larynx boxes they give to people who smoke their throats in to oblivion. My Big Mac was shaking in my hands and I spilled that special sauce thousand island shit on my khakis. I looked down to wipe it away, and when I looked up at the road, the bat was on my windshield. It shattered and tried to claw my eyes out, and my eyebrows are gone. It singed them right off before I sped up and threw it out the window. My wife asked me if I was doing drugs when I showed up at the door with no eyebrows. All I wanted was my pair of shiny black shoes from the closet. I shouldn’t ever have to go back again. I saw her eyeing my car and my smashed windshield. I don’t really care anymore.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
It’s almost midnight and I tried to take my lenses out. They’re not THERE anymore. I reached in to pull them off my cornea with my finger, and I poked myself straight in the eyeball. I’ve heard of lenses with high amounts of protein buildup dissolving in to people’s eyes, but I’ve worn these for less than a month. How can I still see if they’re not in my eyes? For the first time in my life, I’m scared of something more than my ex-wife.
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
I checked the ledger today and business is out of the red and in the black. We’re officially making a profit on every patient now, but I’m having trouble focusing. I can see fine, but every now and then, my vision goes blurry and I see the winged thing coming at me from off in the distance. I tried going in to the broom closet and just keeping my eyes open in the dark. I still saw the bat in the distance, flying at me, head-on. It’s trying to get my eyes. I’m an optometrist. I NEED my eyes.
Friday, August 28th, 2009
Stan is dead, and so is the six year old boy. No one else has made the connection that the only thing they have in common is my office and New Vision. They found Stan about a mile from work, his car caddy-cornered with the shoulder of the road. His hair was burned off and he didn’t have any eyebrows, either. His eyes weren’t missing. They were burned and melted in to his eyesockets. I never got to ask him if he’d tried to take the lenses out. I have to call everyone and tell them to return their prescriptions and stick to HydraSoft. I tried to call the vendor guy from New Vision. The line was popping and snapping again. The bat started coming at me, so I hung up.
Monday, August 29th, 2009
Fourteen more patients are dead. I’d say that I would be looking at a lawsuit for my prescription records, but they haven’t found any traces of any company named New Vision or a brand of lenses by that name. The same thing happened to their eyes as mine. I’ve closed my office (Dr. Mendez and Associates will be closed until further notice due to illness) until I can find out what’s happening. We’re about to be in the red again, but something tells me that I won’t be around much longer to worry about the fruition of my business and craft. I was going to retire in the next five years anyway.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2009
My eyes are not red. My eyes are not bloodshot. There’s this pink, fleshy, THROBBING membrane of skin around my eyelids. It breathes, it copulates, and it pulses when I stare off in the distance for long periods of time. The thing becomes to come again. I finally let it get close enough that I saw what it really is. It’s a hairless human head with talons growing from a rut in the chin. The wings have wrapped around the temples and extended from the ears. Although the eyes are on fire, I recognize that mole on the corner of its chin. It’s not any human head. It’s MY head.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2009
It came to me this morning and gave me a bottle of pills. Said I should go down to Doctor Margaret Lenore’s pediatric office in New Haven and tell her about this new drug. Helps kids with ADD and ADHD focus and get good grades. Supposedly works 400% better than Ritalin. She tried it on her hyperactive pomeranian and it works. Saw dollar signs in her eyes. I didn’t tell her that the bottle smelled like burning fire to me.
Friday, October 1st, 2009
I found the New Vision property. It’s deserted. Everywhere I go, things are on fire. The gas station attendant’s face melted and stretched out thirty feet to the floor when I gave her my card to pay for gas. The pink flesh is dark maroon now and it’s growing out from the sides of my head. When I was shaving this morning, I ran my razor down from my chin to the base of my Adam’s apple. The skin broke open and I saw a little white sharp claw poking out after the blood stopped. I found something in the back room of this place.
The vendor guy is missing his head, and this entire office smells of ashes.
CREDIT: D.A. Wilcox
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