My Deformity Makes Me Feel Like a BAMF!

That’s Bad Ass Mother Fucker! Let me explain.

Back in October, I had my first eye exam in over 5 years. I know, I know. You’re supposed to get your eyes checked every 2 years or something like that. Certainly more frequently than I do… Whatever. I was busy.

My old pair of spectacles weren’t doing their job anymore; the stems had begun to bow around my big ass head and the prescription had weakened. I’d also been daydreaming about how much more hipster my frames could get, as they were thick, black, and rectangular. The only criteria I’d been missing were a fully-grown goatee and an oversized beanie. And veganism. Anyway, I felt it was time for some new glasses.

I made my appointment which included two pair of glasses for $70 and a free eye exam. I like free things. When the day came, I sat in the waiting room for no more than 10 minutes, and then was called into the examination room. The optometrist told me to lean forward and rest my head on the chin rest while she shined blinding lights into my then-dilated pupils. She took a little longer examining my left eye than my right, and then she said, ‘…huh.’ That’s usually never good. She pulled the machine away from my face, allowing me to blink and take a break from staring into the sun, and informed me that she was pretty sure I had a detached retina. Oh. I was pretty sure she was wrong, though, because I had no trouble seeing out of my left eye; no black spots, no ‘curtains’ stifling my vision, no floaters. I told her all of this and she decided to take another look. Great.


The second time around, she suggested that I had what’s called a congenital coloboma. When you’re still a fetus in the prenatal stages of development, your eyes aren’t whole. By the time you’re spewed forth from the loin, your eyes should be fully formed and whole, or ‘closed.’ My left eye was not, and that’s what a congenital coloboma is. Essentially, it’s a section of the eye that’s missing, and so it’s a blind spot. Since I was born with it, I have never been able to notice it, and it’s not something you can see by looking at me. The optometrist told me this was something she’s only ever seen in textbooks and never in real life, making me feel pretty fucking cool. She asked if it was okay that she brought an optometry student in to have a look, since he’d probably find it fascinating. Are you kidding? Of course it’s okay. I should have charged a minutely fee of $5. If I’m going to be on display, I’m going to make some money from it.

When the student came in, it was back onto the chin rest for me. This time, I was staring into the sun for at least 5 minutes, pupils still dilated, while the eye doctor and apprentice exchanged optometric terms such as ‘nasal’ and ‘temporal,’ in terms of which way to look for the giant, gaping abyss in my eye. This experience wasn’t the most comfortable, but whatever. The student left, and just when I thought the shenanigans were over, nope. I was then asked if she could attempt to take a picture of it with her phone through the machine. Sure, why the hell not? A few focal mishaps later, and her iPhone, shrouded in a glasses-themed case, captured the photo of my deformity. And it looks like this:


​That glaring white spot is the pit of oblivion in my eye. I opted to take a picture of her picture, since receiving a text from my eye doctor, which she originally suggested, just seemed a little inappropriate. This condition, by the way, occurs in less than 1 in 10,000 births. It’s imperative that I share that fact each time I tell the story, since it makes me feel cool.

Also, because I know you’re wondering, I did manage to pick out some frames that push the hipster envelope even further than my last pair. These ones are thicker, grey, and wooden. Wooden. I still eat meat, though.


– Todd Smith

Follow Me: @jefermelesyeux