Thursday, March 5, 2015

Story 72: Dilation of the Senses

            “I’m going to put the drops in your eyes now,” the ophthalmologist said.  “I’ll be back in a few minutes when they’re fully dilated.”
            The patient leaned back in the exam chair, waiting for the familiar pressure as his corneas would be forced wide open against their will.  Surprisingly, this time he did not feel that, but the room still became suspiciously brighter with each passing minute.
            When the ophthalmologist returned, the patient asked: “Are these new drops?  I think they’re working, but they don’t feel like they normally do.”
            “Why, yes, actually they’re from a – whoa!”  The ophthalmologist saw the patient’s eyes for the first time since re-entering the room.
            “It’s, just, your eyes are really ready for me to look at now,” she said.  His eyes had been green on his arrival for the appointment, but the green had been reduced to a faint memory of itself as it was literally eclipsed by the gaping chasms that were his pupils.  “Don’t look directly into the light.”
            She finished the exam and sent him on his way with: “Make sure you wear sunglasses when you go outside!”
            “Heh, I think I need them in here!”
            THREE DAYS LATER
            “Doctor, a patient’s on the phone with a question – he says his pupils are still dilated from the other day?  Does that sound right?”
            “Oh.  I’ll take it in my office.”  The ophthalmologist closed the door and picked up the line.  “This is the doctor.”
            “Doc, you gotta help me, my eyes are still dilated!”
            “Has there been any change?”
            “None that I can see, and I can see everything now!  People at work think I’m too cool for school `cause I can’t use the computer without sunglasses, and I keep getting pulled over for erratic driving `cause it’s so bright, and the cops think I’m on drugs!”
            “Oh no, you haven’t been arrested, have you?”
            “I have!  They recommended I call you after the second time.”
            “Yes, come right in.”
            He came in an hour later, wearing the type of sunglasses usually given to people who have had cataract surgery.  “I got pulled over again!”
            “Right this way, please.”  She led him to an exam room with the lights turned down low; he took off the sunglasses and pressed his fists against his eyes.  “Let me see.”  He lowered his hands and opened his eyes: there had been no change.  When she shone a soft light at the pupils, she could have sworn that she could see both the outside and the inside of the corneas at the same time.
            She decided to give it to him straight: “After you left the other day, I saw that the drops I had given you were from a sample pack that had been sent to me in error.  Other than the brightness, have you seen anything else unusual?  Colors you never noticed before?”
            “Yes, actually I now see a weird red wherever there’s heat, and a lot of a weird purple in the light.”
            “Mm-hm.  Yes, it seems the drops have given you super-vision, where you now can see all the colors in the spectrum, including infrared and ultraviolet, and who knows what else.  There’s no way to reverse it without killing you, so I contacted the NSA where the package had come from and they’re recruiting you for their research and surveillance divisions.”
            “Wha – ?”
            The door opened and two men in suits and shades entered.
            “Come with us to your new life, sir.”  Each grabbed an arm and hauled him out of the exam chair.
            “But – but – but I’m a paralegal!”  The door shut gently behind them.
            That’s the last time I use something without first reading the package it came in, the ophthalmologist thought as she went to the next exam room for her 1:15.  Lesson learned.

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