Look At It This Way

By Jo Phillips

New Look


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The first days after the operation are the hardest, but also the most glorious. At least, to my mind. How would I really know? Someone once said doctors should get stuck with a knife or crushed, or bashed up, so they have a real understanding of what their patients endure. Might improve our bedside manner, anyway.

What was I saying? Ah yes. So, the operation. It’s a miracle really. So I’m told. We restore sight to the blind. They should call us ‘The Ministry’, or something grand like that. Instead, we’re just Palmer Medical Practice. Not very inspiring. Still, we pull in the patients.

It’s a procedure that can only be done on people born blind, and so they have no reference points to describe the transition. Most of the “current” accounts are made in retrospect after they’ve had time to learn what all the colours and shapes mean, what a chair is, what they’re looking at when a car rolls by. I had one patient who just stared at a watch face for a whole afternoon.

I just feel like these accounts don’t really capture it. At least, not to me. But again, what would I know?

That’s why I decided to do it. To really do it. So they wouldn’t look at me that way anymore. So I wouldn’t look at myself that way anymore, those judging eyes in the mirror. I needed to know. Really know.

I told my parents about it, and they yelled and cried and called me a fool. I told my best friend, and he just stared at me in disbelief. Since then, I haven’t told anyone close to me.

Am I scared? Hell yes, I’m scared. But it’s a simple procedure, only a few days, not like it used to be, and of course I know all the risks and the probabilities. At Palmer, though, we’re the best.

I get my new eyes tomorrow.


About the author: Richard Shury is from New Zealand, but has been haunting London for some time now. He likes to travel, and dreams of writing professionally. Recently, he’s had a few successes: his story Chiaroscuro was read at Liars’ League, and another flash piece was published on Paragraph Planet. He hopes these are the calm before a storm. Call him a part-time optimist. Find him @Richard Shury

About the editor: Our literary Editor Katy Darby also is part of Liars’ League, a monthly live fiction event where writers write, actors read, audiences listen and everybody wins. Videos and MP3s can be found at liarsleague.com.

Words by Richard A. Shury

Illustration by Mahsa Dehghani



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