Today, after plenty of previous "close calls", I got all the way to the train station before I realized that I had forgotten to put in my prosthetic eye. Not only that, but I didn't have an eye-patch with me either.
I was actually sitting in the Quiet Car when I figured it out. I reached up under my safety glasses to rub my right eye and found the socket empty…which explained the somewhat startled looks I was getting from other passengers. The itchiness (the beginnings of a cold or allergies, I'm not sure which) was the reason I'd taken the fake eye out the night before. Clearly I had not bothered to look in a mirror before I left the apartment, which history has shown is not that unusual.
The train wasn't rolling yet, so the option of going home to retrieve either the prosthetic or a patch was technically still on the table. But doing so was going to make me seriously late for work (damn my stupid American work-ethic!) and besides that, I was *fairly* sure I had a spare eye-patch stashed in a drawer at the office. At least I knew I had thought to myself MANY TIMES what a smart idea it would be to keep a spare patch at my office…but sitting on the train with a naked eye-socket, I wasn't sure I'd ever actually executed the plan.
I did have the dark lenses for my safety glasses with me, however, and as I contemplated the possible pitfalls of wearing shades indoors all day when the forecast was calling for cloudy skies and rain, the doors closed for departure. I was committed.
So I put on my sunglasses and fired up an episode of The Rachel Maddow Show on my iPhone, and tried not to think about what I was going to do if there wasn't an eye-patch in my office. The choices would be to spend the day with all of my colleagues thinking I was stoned, or spend the day with all of my colleagues thinking I was winking at them.
Fortunately there was indeed a patch in one of the drawers of the credenza behind my desk…a plain, boring black one…but it was better than the alternatives. So in the end it turned out there was an third option, one I'd (appropriately) forgotten about: absent-minded pirate.