Have you ever gotten an eyelash in your eye?
It hurts. It leaves you almost debilitated as your eyelid closes tightly shut and your eye waters as you attempt to rush to the bathroom mirror. Discomfort radiates through your body as you desperately try to pry the eyelid open against the muscle holding it shut.
Well, I was watching TV last night and I had an itch around my eye, so I reached up with my finger to rub it. Almost immediately, I felt a searing pain as my eye clamped shut and began to water profusely. This did not feel like an eyelash, I thought, until I remembered …
Earlier I had just pickled some hot peppers (see where this is going?), and after putting them in the jar from the pot of boiling vinegar and salt brine, I reached it to pick up the last remaining ring, clinging to the side an popped it into my mouth.
Then I washed my hands.
Then I went about my business.
Then I forgot that I had touched hot peppers.
Then I forgot that washing your hands doesn’t remove capsaicin very well.
Then I felt that itch in my eye.
And the rest was history … and I know why pepper spray works.
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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