Bryant & May & Me
Yesterday I finished next year’s Bryant & May novel (I have a little tidying up to do, but basically it’s done). I’d been putting in an insane number of hours on the book. I needed to end it then because I was due to have an eye operation, after enduring months of rapidly deteriorating vision which had led to slower and slower typing, as well as many other problems.
So yesterday morning, a surgeon replaced the lens of my left eye with a plastic one. You can have varifocals inserted now but the satisfaction rate is lower. It was painless and took about 20 minutes. It left no scar tissue or swelling – nothing. As I was born with an astigmatism, they were able to correct that at the same time.
This morning I got up and took the patch off. And promptly fell over.
Because apart from it giving me 20/20 vision in one eye, the difference between the two is surreal. The world through the left is sharp, white, bright, lurid even. The view through the right is like looking at a particularly vile sepia Victorian painting. I now want to get the other one done as soon as possible. This is a total revelation. My surgeon had said ‘You may want to wear dark glasses for a while’. I thought he meant it was to stop me from frightening small children with my Peter Lorre eyes, but he meant it was for my own protection from all the colours. And this is in London, where, Eskimo-style, we have thirty different words for rain. Thank God I wasn’t about to head for Barbados.
What has this to do with the old detectives? It makes me think how much fun I could have with altering Bryant’s perception of the world. When I was a child we had our own version of Mr Magoo – he was called ‘Colonel Blink, the short-sighted gink’ (no, I have no idea what a gink was either). When I’ve finished my volume of Bryant & May short stories – there’s one half-written right now – I may play around with this idea.
Next week, to celebrate the launch of the book, we’ll have a competition to win signed copies, I think.
BTW, I took a picture of the visitors’ book in the King VII Hospital where I had my eye op, because it’s the Queen’s hospital and she gets a whole page to herself. Not to mention not bothering to use her last name. How cool is that?