My Journal by Harriman Nelson - Cottage By the Sea

Many thanks to JSRobertson for her  observations and unfailing support of this project.
Carol aka Catfish
Please also note there may be some formatting issues that I've been unable to resolve.

My Journal

By Harriman Nelson




New life, new journal.


Emmie has been reading my previous journals, and was surprised to learn I’d only begun keeping a journal as a therapy homework assignment by Doc at first. I just sort of expanded the idea afterwards as a welcome (and private) source for me to vent and such.


At first, I was embarrassed to let her read them. They are, after all, my own personal and private thoughts and remembrances. But she convinced me that I should let her share in those thoughts and observations, at least past ones. She said she wouldn’t ask to read the current journal, until it too, joins the others as a fait’ accompli.


I was tempted to ask to see her diaries, if she’d ever kept any, that is. But even I know that a female’s diary is sacrosanct, even from her nearest and dearest. Doesn’t seem too equitable. But there it is. I’m a male chauvinist and ‘old school’ so I won’t even ask.


Neither of us has completely recovered from our injuries from the explosion aboard Lee’s sailboat some weeks ago. But we’ve managed to enjoy our ‘honeymoon’, just the same. Even if living on the institute grounds isn’t exactly the love nest that Lee arranged for us at the Catalina Nature Reserve. But once our bones are healed, and casts removed, we’ll see about going there for a belated ‘get away’.


For now, Emmie and I’ve been checking the classified advertisements and consulting realtors regarding a new home. Emmie wants a ‘cottage by the sea’, but the only beach-front residences we could find were mansions. Not exactly our style. There were a few isolated ‘cottages’ further down the coast from the Santa Barbara city limits, but they were aged weather worn dwellings in need of demolition. The realtor was anxious for us to purchase one or more of them anyway, in the hopes we’d build our own cottage on the land. She stressed that several hotel chains had already shown an interest in the properties. While building our own place had merits, Emmie said the hoteliers were welcome to them.


The press, of course, has been anxious to learn if I’m going to keep my bride in an institute abode, (‘shameful’ according them’) or if I’ll purchase one of the more exclusive homes Santa Barbara is known for.


Frankly, I don’t know what we’ll do yet.


This morning, Emmie suggested we put our search for a place on hold, and check the classifieds to find and purchase a new sailboat for Lee. She was disappointed when I pointed out that picking out a boat, like a car, would be best left to him. It’s a guy thing. Besides, I’m not sure yet if the optical prosthesis will enable Lee the necessary depth perception he’d be required to have for both. In fact, the Dept. of Motor Vehicles suspended his driver’s license after the loss of his eye. That experimental prosthesis will have to prove itself as every bit as good as a real eye in a vision and driving test.


We’ve been following Lee’s progress, from the initial implant of the new orbital socket and the microscopic surgery to attach it to what was left of his optic nerve.


He’s had to learn how to attach and remove the prosthesis eyeball into the socket. The engineers are also still experimenting with a self-contained electrical system tied into the body’s own electricity. But they say that kind of prosthesis is far away,


As for the ‘eyeball’ itself, well, Lee’s trying to be optimistic, but it wasn’t the ‘hey presto’ result we’d all hoped for. He’s only seeing light and shadows and sometimes computer type pixels out of it but has been informed it may take time for the brain to interpret things for him to ‘see’ more normally out of it.

‘May’ being the worrisome word.



The prosthesis is a far cry from the drawing I first saw. It’s a metallic sci-fi orb with indentations and protrusions and the ‘iris’ reminds me of a digital camera.  In time newer versions might look more like real eyes, but Lee says not to keep my fingers crossed.


It’s so hard not to break down whenever he calls on the videophone, the image of him with the monstrosity in place. My heart bleeds for him. He’s been blind before, totally blind, but that was temporary. But this, well, if there’s no noticeable improvement in vision, he’ll be partially blind as we define it, permanently.


Oh God, please, please, please, please, restore his sight. I’m not asking for a miracle. Am I?


Emmie just interrupted my scribblings, and handed me two round trip airline tickets, and confirmation of a hotel reservation.

“Let’s go cheer him up,” she said.

But I knew her suggestion was more to cheer me up. To see and speak with him in person. While there’s absolutely nothing we can say or do to change things, at least we can be there for him, up close and personal.


I’m still praying for that miracle, however.


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