(c) Copyright Jeffrey James Ircink
Sometimes I wish I could walk around like this.
My eye injury three years ago has affected me in various ways - physically, emotionally; I'm angry, sad, vengeful, wondering why this happened to me, etc. The left eye is glazed over with a faint yellowish-tan color, totally covering up my pupil and brown iris. It's because of this that I haven't acted. It's because of this that I don't date. The self-confidence I had as an actor - and in just my normal, everyday life - is not what it was. Now and then I glance at a picture of me when I was 3 1/2 - my favorite portrait as a child - and I say to myself, 'where has that handsome, little boy - the eldest son of Jim and Dee - gone to?', 'where has that boy with the beautiful brown eyes gone to?'. He's gone. He is gone.
Those who know me say it's not as bad as I make it out to be - that the color of my eye is different, and yeh, I can understand their point, at times. But the fact remains that it's there. I know it's there. My face - dammit, I moved to Hollywood and gave up everything to be an actor - at the very least a somewhat, above average-looking character actor or 3rd fiddle. My family and friends accept me for who I am, yes. But when I meet someone for the first time, someone who will formulate their first impression of me in less than five minutes, the same questions roll around in my head, 'what is this person thinking?', 'do they notice my eye?', 'do they think I'm ugly?'. I want people to judge me not for the way I look but for who I am inside - with the same sense of humor, ideas, emotions, desires, same personality traits - positive and negative.
On top of all that I couldn't see dick for a year and a half because of a cataract in my good eye (what more can God possibly throw at me?). The cataract was removed in March and I'm seeing 20/15 (that's better than 20/20). I've also seen a positive change in my demeanor, as have some of my friends. I have a certain "step" in my gait and a smile on my face...a ways to go, but baby steps still. I'm tired of being bitter and angry, so this is a huge breakthrough for me and I am thankful. In two weeks I have a consultation with a prominent cosmetic eye doctor in LA who will assess my needs and custom fit me with a soft lens that will exactly match my other eye. I pray this helps me get to a place I need to be. A sense of normalcy in my life after all this pain would be nice.