The Day I Couldn’t See
After a weighty pause, my neurologist told me that this year’s MRI was “not too bad,” whereas last year’s was “rather concerning.”
“If you have another attack,” he said, “call our office immediately. In a case like yours, I’ll want to see you right away and put you on something stronger.”
Then he paused and added, as a kindly afterthought, “But of course, hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
I got the feeling he thought it would happen one day. In a case like mine, whatever that means.
Four years ago, things were a lot less uncertain. I had extracted myself from a Ph.D. program in classics that was feeling increasingly untenable and moved from Cincinnati, where I’d been studying, back to Toronto.
I made just enough peace with the fact that I would not be spending the rest of my life studying Greek literature, that I could finally sleep at night without panicked second-guessing. I’d started a job and found an apartment with a friend from high school. I had all these things, a whole edifice of definitiveness, around me. No more starting thoughts with “if”: “if I pass these exams,” “if I complete my dissertation.” I’d settled it—enough for me, at least. My life felt solid, full of statements. When I go to work. When I pay my rent. When I see my friends this Thursday.
Then one day, I couldn’t see.