Oh, what a blood-eyed morning
With the kind of workload that I seem to be bombarded with these days, it feels routine to wake up with bloodshot eyes. If I wake up and take a look in the mirror… and I see a smiling healthy face with clear, normal eyes, I wouldn’t recognize myself. In fact, I’d just rub my eyes in disbelief until the eyes turn red and restore the new order of normalcy in my admittedly bizarre life.
The border that separates the bizarre and the routine is merely acceptance. And subconsciously, somewhere between a heavy 40 hour shift and a 24 hour expedited deadline, I have accepted this routine. I accept that I wake up groggy; that I am hardly ever sure at that time whether my eyes are actually open; that I stumble on the jumble of crumpled pile of random objects strewn about in my bachelor-infested room; that until the morning shower hits me like a quarter ton of bricks, I shall repeatedly debate whether I am still in bed, having a nightmare.
But soon enough, after battling the morning routine, a routine filled with the kind of tasks Hercules would have shrunk away from, running home to daddy almighty, I reach office. And after this short clutch at morning insanity, I seem magically transformed into a normal, well rested chirpy young executive. And the powers that be will start to think – “Hey, Hamish looks well rested. Perhaps I should just… hand him these new projects.”
But I’m an optimist here. Having a well-rested appearance may not prove to be beneficial in the short run, but in the long run, it could help you from the hazards of life and responsibilities by… well, killing ya.
But after having worn the badge of efficiency and competence within the corporate world for over three years now, I have, like most people around here, learned to cope with work pressure like this, and pretty soon, with the help of friends and an overworked, weeping guardian angel, who threatens to quit every now and then, I manage to complete the tasks at hand and take a breather. As is customary during the breather, I sigh, smile, and possibly whistle a tune. And if I do this when my guardian angel is taking HER breather, chances are that this would catch the attention of the powers that be – “Hey, Hamish looks well rested. Perhaps I should just… hand him these new projects.” – What can I say? The p. that be has a one track mind.
But like I said, usually, when by the time I reach office, my red, bloodshot eyes would have returned to normal. But that wasn’t the case this one day. This particular day, my eyes hurt, and they looked as bloodshot as ever. Now that wasn’t normal…. no, not even my redefined version of normal. I guess that at this point, most of you would have jumped on the phone and fixed an appointment with the doctor, eager to place your vision in the hands of a science that has been molded through the course of over a hundred years of accumulated knowledge – medicine.
But I chose to use democracy instead. I went around office staring at people in the eye, making eye contact, and taking a poll as to what they thought the problem was. Since my office is small, and attendance wasn’t full at the time, this got over pretty quickly, and the winner was clear and undisputed… conjunctivitis. And most people weren’t happy about me staring right into their eyes.
Of course, office was happy to let me take off and consult with a doctor, so as to get some expert backing for the political victory of conjunctivitis, but considering the heap of tasks that were on my desk, and the prospect of accumulating them for the next day, I stuck on. My brain kept saying – “Just an hour’s work, and I’m done. Just an hour’s work, and I’m done” – over and over and over again until the rest of the body ganged up and beat the crap out of the lying piece of sponge.
By the time I got home, I was too bushed to go see a doctor. I saw Dr. Dolittle instead. My eyes seldom hurt when I watch movies. I was rewarded with another day of the same routine, except my colleagues were, by now, wiser than to let me stare at them without having a bill of clean health by a reputable doctor.
By the third day, my eyes got kinda normal, and it seemed like the alleged conjunctivitis had decided to effect a retreat. Hamish, it seemed to decide, had enough problems of his own. I say ‘alleged’, because I never did see the doctor; I never did verify the claim…
So what does this mean? I may have had a bout of conjunctivitis, and I was too busy to notice? I was too bu… What is becoming of me? It’s not like my company is thrusting me into a hard wired pressure chamber; they didn’t force me to work when I was sick, and that means… this busy, pressure laden, conjunctivitis-ignoring freak was my own creation.
I have to backtrack here, let loose, shake myself up, sober up and get back to my core, lazy roots. I have to get myperspective back in place, reinvent my trademarked nonchalant laid-back carefree viewpoints on life bliss… rest back on the computer chair, remove my shoes, loosen my collar, and keep my feet back on the table, next to the monitor, perhaps whistle a little tune. Until, of course, the power that be catches me in this position – “Goddammit. Hamish STILL looks well rested?? Perhaps I should just… take my gun and shoot him.”