Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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The Eyes Rule

July 19, 2005

Good thing about this summer days where the swelter starts at dawn: I wake up early and get a fair amount done before eight o'clock. What I got done this morning before eight was the final draft of "My Terrorist Eye."

I have proof, almost: Outlook Express tells me that at 8:22 a.m. I e-mailed my writers' group buddies: "You're not going to believe this, but I think I just finished 'Terrorist Eye' -- that's not the unbelievable part, the unbelievable part is that I cut more than 1,700 words out, for a total of less than 5,800, and I think it's _way_ better than it was before."

This is as close as I come to marching down Main Street with a big brass band bellowing "I am the greatest."

At 8:24 I was sitting at the foot of the stairs lacing up my hiking boots and listening to Rhodry's never-trimmed toenails clicking on the bare boards behind me: da-dum, da-dum . . . da-dum, da-dum.

We walked briskly into town so I wouldn't be late for my 8:45 appointment with my optometrist. My new contact lenses had arrived, my first since my retinal adventures began last August 1. The moment of reckoning had arrived: just how much more myopic was my right eye, and how was my vision affected by the cataracts? Well, even with contacts in I wouldn't speed down Barnes Road with my left eye closed, but it's not bad. And besides -- "My Terrorist Eye" was finished.

I hoped. I didn't dare look until mid-afternoon, just before I returned to the barn to bring the horses in and feed them dinner. I looked, I whooped -- it really is done, and it really is good.

I think.

When I got home from the barn, three new jobs were piled neatly on the top step. Summer can be a slow time in the word trades, but not this year. And as if all that weren't enough for one day, my landlord replaced the ceiling fixture whose light bulb has been blinking, fading, hissing, and dying on me for months. The new one has two working light bulbs, and it comes on when I flick the switch.

I just tried to count my blessings but I ran out of fingers.


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