about Japan

My eyeballs need cocaine.

My eyeballs need cocaine

I have been fighting this horrible sinus infection for a few days where not only am I congested and suffering from rough-grit sandpaper throat, my eyeballs have been snotting green mucus.  It’s pretty terrible because if the mucus clouds aren’t sporadically rendering me blind, they are leaking out the corners of my eyes and making me wear hurtful crusty eyeliner as a result.  Gross.  And ouch.

Which reminds me of working with my Japanese friend at Toraya* (a fancy-schmance Japanese tea room) on the Upper East Side many, many years ago.  I don’t know how we started talking about cocaine but we did.
And his take on the drug:
JF: It can be really helpful.
Me: Really?
JF: Ya, eye doctors use it all the time in Japan.  It stops pain very fast.  It’s very good.  You don’t have that in America?
Me: I don’t know…I haven’t been to the eye doctor for really bad eye pain.  I haven’t heard of anyone getting cocaine eye drops; most people here use it to get high.
JF: nodding pensively…Ya, in Japan too.

So I’m sitting on my tatami floor, squinting at the screen through swollen eyelids and thinking those coke drops would be really useful about now.  Actually, any Japanese eye drops would do the trick; they are marketed like Jolt cola was back, back in the day.  Working your twelfth hour of overtime this week, and it’s Monday?  These drops of liquid menthol and speed will carry you through hour 32, no problem!

My current state of misery might trump my childhood memory of wanting to claw my eyeballs out from the very wrong burning sensation caused by said drops.  My uncle promised the drops would give my tired, red eyes soothing relief.  Said uncle also survived on three hours of sleep, woke up every morning at 5:00 without fail to start his exercise routine and worked seventy hours a week at one company for his entire work life.  Why would I trust this crazy person?  Well, I was nine.

The hypochondriac in me thinks I’m growing cataracts as my vision won’t clarify, no matter how many times I blink.
Yep, time to revisit that memory and see if this time I won’t welcome the fiery, mentholated sensation of crack drops.

*Sadly, post-9/11 Toraya had to shut its beautiful brownstone doors.

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6 thoughts on “My eyeballs need cocaine.

  1. Shannon says:

    Before one of my mom’s 8 or so sinus surgeries, the doctor gave her a little bit of pure cocaine to sniff as an anesthetic. My mom sneezed after sniffing sending the remaining cocaine all over the room. Who knows how the doctor accounted for all the missing coke.

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