I called my sister not too long ago and when she answered with her strawberry sweet, “Hi-eeeee,” I wasted no time and said, “Quick! Look on the back of your leg in the crease area, like kinda behind your knee.”
“Yeah, I’m there–what?”
“Do you see big poking out squiggly veins?,” I panted.
“Oh yeah,” her voice dropped a little, “But that’s nothing compared to what’s going on with my eyes.”
“What? No! What happened?”
“Well I sit and stare at my computer all day and everything’s starting to look blurry.”
“Oh dear god! This is it. Me too. This conversation never happened.” Click.
But I didn’t forget of course, and the next time I was in a drug store I meandered over to the reading glasses section imagining I’d end up chatting with a few 90-year old’s. To my delight, I was alone. I tried on every pair of glasses from “designer,” to bifocals, the half-frame, the full-frames, and finally, “the classic.” There was nothing to test how the reading was going with each pair so I dug around in my purse until I found an old receipt with a few remaining words. Thinking back, I don’t know why I didn’t just grab a bottle of ibuprofen off the shelf–not being able to read one of those at home is what got me in to this situation in the first place.
Now time and insecurity have passed and my reading glasses are one of my dearest friends. Gone are the days of squinting, headaches, and having the menu read to me in a restaurant. However something curious happened along the way. I’m not sure when, but at some point I forgot to take off my glasses after reading and I went out in to the world. To my amazement I saw lines and scars on friend’s faces that I never knew existed. At a home I’d been to a thousand times I saw spots on the carpet, cat hair on the pillows and streaks (was that blood?) running down their windows. Crooked toe-nails and puppy chewed heels were on every foot I passed–even the most luscious thighs showed signs of wear!
And then there was all the beautiful stuff. The design on a girl’s dress was no longer one large bouquet but instead a hundred little flowers. I saw gold and green specks in what I thought were brown eyes, and I could count the rings of a spider’s web in the yard without even going outside. I saw brush strokes on hand-made pots that hinted of untold stories.
The truth is though, besides reading, my vision is fine. Walking around looking at the world with bi-focals is really like carrying around a huge magnifying glass and it’s giving me an advantage over everyone else. It’s cheating, essentially, but I don’t know if I can stop. I’ve drugged my eyes and they want to see that cat hair and those legs and those eyes.
It’s easier, looking at the world through a magnifying glass and in most cases better. But I’m going to stop soon. I am. I swear.