Iritis (or Dies Irae):
Iritis irks my eye rotten. And if it isn’t treated with steroid drops, the sight is likely to be burned right down to the optic fuse.
The recurrence of iritis in my left eye must be the Curse of Cthulhu. After several cruel attacks of iritis, I can now easily recognise a fresh onset of its characteristic light-tender ache and thus deal with the problem in its early stages. Yet, upon initially inspecting the red-blurred seepage into the eye's white by means of a mirror, I sense the touch of something that itself should be untouched – almost as if the eye itself is the culprit rather than the iritis.
After the first attack in 1973, there elapsed ten years before there was a further attack (in 1983) by or upon my left lit sight-bulb.
That is the only way to describe my eyeball when it’s in the iritic mode.
Then another ten years before it attacked again in 1993.
But it’s speeding up. Five years, then two. Now, it’s sometimes merely a matter of months between attacks. Soon, I guess, it will be days. My eye’s sly susceptibility to searing could one day teeter upon the brink of strobing.
Iritis is a relatively rare disorder. No known cause. Not contagious or infectious, but growing organically from within the eye like a second disfigured eye, one that is raw with what I imagine to be the waywardly plaiting tendrils of a blindness primed to pounce.
Perhaps it’s a symptom of something far more insidious, as I’ve already hinted. Not the Curse of Cthulhu, but the eye actually is Cthulhu. Or, a little less grandiosely, a mere demon from a less believable mythos. Or one of God’s angels from the least believable mythos of all. More likely a demon keeping a beady eye on me – grooming me for the dark visions of Hell – ensuring I can’t escape. Eyes follow you everywhere, don’t they?
Eventually, I will gouge it from the socket with a screwdriver: feel it bubble and squirm in God’s ire, an agonising fire that has its seat somewhere in my soul.
Meantime, Cthulhu sits calmly in its unholy spy-hole disguised as my right eye . . .
First published in 'Mausoleum' 1996