Clear Eyes

So, my twitchy eye. It went away, but now it’s back. It’s back and it’s mad. It wants to be heard. It wants to be seen. It used to be other people wouldn’t be able to see it if I forced them to stare at my head, but now you can see it. You can notice it. It looks like my eye wants to leave my face.

It’s my right eye. The twitch is in the upper eyelid, and it appears the twitch will go away only when I’m talking about, worrying about, addressing or thinking about the twitch. I searched the Internet and found a range of solutions, ones that started with “It’s perfectly normal,” to “…Unless it’s a brain tumor.”

The Web doctors seem to all agree that it’s caused by caffeine, lack of sleep or stress.

Well, I guess I’m just living with a twitchy right eye for the rest of my life, as I don’t see how I’m going to get rid of one of those three things. People, I gave up smoking. I’m not giving up a couple cups of coffee a day. I don’t even drink Diet Coke that often. I drink like, a liter and a half of water a day. I exercise. I try to sleep six to eight hours a night. I try. In high school and college I only slept four hours a night. Hell, two years ago I was only sleeping about five a night. I’m sleeping more than I’ve ever slept before.

Check it: I nap. Nap like I’m fifty. Nap like, “Shit, grocery shopping is exhausting. Where’s my pillow?”

I keep rubbing my eye, hoping that a little pressure or a tiny massage will help. I tried not drinking coffee, drinking more coffee, sleeping until eleven in the morning, and a mask. I’m still twitchy.

Then I worried that I was really sick, that the headaches I get on my left side aren’t from the TMJ but from the tumor I have in my head. I worry that I caused this by letting that stylist pluck my eyebrows for the first time in my life. I worry that it’s because I’m worried about money, about travelling, about paying all of my bills. I worry that it’s because I’m behind in my work, wishing I could just sit still and read Lullaby.

(Sidenote: all I want to do is sit and read Lullaby, by the way. He’s one of my favorite authors and I think it’s terrible I haven’t been able to read it yet. But, to be honest, I bought it over three weeks ago. Then I read what it was about, and I’m so scared by the concept of the book, combined with my lingering feelings and shivers I got from the last one, that I talked myself out of reading it. I got too scared to read the book. How sad is that? I had to read a breezy book to work up my nerve.)

Then I worry that I’m worrying too much and then my eye starts to twitch. Actually, it was only twitching when I left the house. When I took a meeting. Now it’s just twitching all the time. Today I think it twitched more than it didn’t twich. I hate this. I hate having to feel it twitch all day. Nobody sees it, nobody notices, but I know that it’s there. I know I’m twitching. It makes me feel all full of anxiety, the soles of my feet twitch, I can see dark circles under my eyes (and I’ve never, ever had those before), and I start to worry that every single thing that happens to me is another sign that I’m sick and dying.

Trying to avoid anxiety gives me more anxiety than anything else. Now the twitch is winning, you see? It’s taking control. It’s telling me to think about it all the time. It’s making me think that something’s wrong with me, which only makes me feel worse, which only encourages the twitch to keep on dancing.

Today I went for a run because it finally stopped raining. I climbed to the top of these obnoxious stairs and looked behind me: I could see the Hollywood sign. It was amazing. Three days of rain cleared the skies so much that I could see things I never thought were visible from where I lived. It was so majestic there, white and bold, standing out on that mountain, reminding me where I was and what I was doing here. Standing proudly next to the Griffith Park observatory, reminding me of James Dean and Paula Abdul for two different but related reasons. I stood there and looked over the city. As of November 1st, I’ve now lived here for two years. I’ve come a long way in those two years, but I still have an incredibly long way to go.

Maybe my eye was just checking in, representing my body. “We’re still here. Still working. Don’t forget to stop and take a breath every now and then.” If I hadn’t bothered to turn around and look, I wouldn’t have seen that incredible view this morning. I guess my eye’s just trying to remind me that my body’s still here, even when I’m not thinking about it.

There’s nothing prettier than Los Angeles after a rainstorm. It makes you realize just how dirty the air normally is, that air that I usually call “a perfect day,” can be even more perfect. That’s LA too: just when you think you’ve achieved perfection, the girl who sits down next to you is even better. You think you sing a good Karaoke? Check that bitch out with the dreads. You think you have a nice car? Have you seen that guy’s new Lexus? You like the way you write a script? That girl over there? She wrote Bring It On. You like your view? You should check out Brad Pitt’s. Keep working. You ain’t done.

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