Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Overheard at Booth 5: Eyedrops

It wasn't that Beatrice didn't love Dante; it was just that she couldn't stand him anymore.

Especially his nightly routine, just before bed.  GOD! it was insufferable.  Year after year, the same routine!  9:15pm, sharp, and Dante was at his sink: floss first, then gargle with hydrogen peroxide, then brush - each tooth, exactly 30 seconds, then the water-pick, exactly 2 minutes (she used to time these things until she realized that the time frame never changed - ever!), and finally, after the second rinse with a mouthwash, the eyedrops.

It was the eyedrops that really got under her skin.  He would hold open one eye and then hold the dropper over his eye, at least 4 inches, and let the drop hang in the bottle for ten full seconds, before finally dropping into the eye.

Why did he do that?  Why hold it so high?  Why wait exactly TEN seconds?  Was he imagining the eyedrops to be some champion high diver? Did he think it was more effective that way?   Was he simply giving in to some sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?  It was infuriating!

So, Beatrice smiled to herself the night she decided - finally! - to shake things up.   As Dante stood there, eyedrop suspended in time - the droplet exactly four inches above his waiting eyeball - she almost ALMOST called out to him to stop, not to do it ... but she didn't.

The droplet fell, and it was a gleeful, suspenseful eternity, watching that droplet fall, a droplet of pure hydrochloric acid.


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