The first ‘system failure’ of my life. I now wear glasses for reading and computer work. (insert expletive here). I admit, it’s been a joyful couple of years since my wife became four-eyed, but maybe I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t need glasses yet a little too much, because it almost guaranteed I would be the future recipient of a karmic ass-bite. Today I received my comeuppance.
So what can I salvage from this tragedy? I mean, other than clear vision? Well, for one, I can play on the ‘smart people wear glasses’ things, which is a plus. I can take them on and off while delivering a monologue, jabbing the air with them to make a point, so there’s utility in them as a theatrical prop as well. If an angry guy storms in and wants to punch someone on the nose — hey, glasses, I mean, you know…? so there’s that. Lastly? Everybody else my age is wearing them, and they all look good, so maybe there’s nothing to be self-conscious about after all. And writers are famous glasses-wearers, aren’t they. Writers read a lot and write a lot, so eyestrain is an occupational hazard. I can take comfort from that.
My one misgiving is that I occasionally enjoyed the sensation of not seeing everything clearly. Funny-odd things were always happening at the edge of my vision. I would see the shape of people, animals, shadowy movements, then look up and there would be nothing there. Nothing, or something utterly mundane, and I’d be surprised at my disappointment. The frisson of these moments can’t help but filter into your mind, the inkling that things aren’t as they seem, and that in my opinion was fuel for the writerly fire that might sustain me when all my creative juices were spent.
Anyway, enough said. As the late Gabriel García Márquez once commented on the subject of getting older: “Don’t cry because it came to an end, smile because it happened.”