Growing up, Halloween was a weird celebration other countries (US, and maybe Canada) celebrated. We didn’t.
Over the years, Halloween has become a thing, here, with parents buying scary costumes for their children and the kids going around to neighbours’ houses. Or some of them, anyway. It hasn’t really become a thing in our suburb yet—although I can see it will—because until recently this was mostly a renter’s area, full of students who went to the local TAFE. But that’s changing. We’re in a suburb where the families are moving in. Kids are starting to appear.
So much so that this year we actually bought sweets and had them set aside in case someone rang the doorbell. No one did, so I might add that we had lollies left over (which we’re slowly eating), but … I digress.
For a long time I thought trick or treat meant that you either gave the kids lollies or scared them witless by being really scary. I know better now, but my old version of trick or treat would have worked really well in this last week.
You see, I had an injection in my eye last Tuesday and, to quote my eye doctor, “What must have happened is that somewhere along the way they nicked a blood vessel.”
For the last few days I’ve been going around thinking I looked like a vampire. Believe me, it looked bad. The blood pooled around the eye, totally covering the white. I would have taken a photo, but it looked so bad, I didn’t even want to show it.
I tell you, if it had been Halloween, and my definition of ‘trick or treat’ was scaring kids witless, all I would have had to do was answer the door in the dark and shine a torch on my face. They’d have run, screaming, and probably had nightmares for years afterwards.
Fact number one. I wasn’t a vampire.
For the first few days, I swanned (can I call it that?) around thinking I looked like a vampire. But investigating photos for the blog I realised that the pupils in vampires are red, not the whites of their eyes. So, definitely not a vampire.
In fact, the closest I could come was the Aswang of the Phillipines. A shapeshifting witch who eats unborn foetuses. According to Wikipedia, they’re not harmed by sunlight, they can be befriended, and they talk to you like any normal human. In fact, they even protect their friends and neighbours. They have bloodshot eyes, which is the result of staying up all night searching for where wakes are being held, so they can steal the bodies.
Mind you, my eye isn’t bloodshot. It is absolutely, irrevocably, bloody. There is no white whatsoever. It is red.
Fact number two. You can’t see how bad it is.
Seriously, other people recoil, but you can’t see how awful it looks, unless you look in the mirror.
Fact number three. It makes the eye look smaller.
I have to say, when there’s no white around the eye, the eye looks so much smaller. So all those monsters you read about that have red–or black–eyes where the white should be. Either they’ve got tiny little eyes, or otherwise their eyes are so much bigger than humans.
Fact number four. It could be worse.
I was sitting in a shop today, having my nails done, and the nail technician asked about my eye. By now, I had the spiel down pat. “I had an injection in the eye, and they nicked a blood vessel, and …”
“You’re lucky,” said the lady having her nails done next to me. “My sister had both eyes done. She spent a week walking around, looking like her husband had bashed her.”
I am lucky. It is only one eye. But believe me, I’m holding out for the week to be over.