Friday, October 7, 2011

My (Lack) Of Vision

Somewhere around the age of eight or nine years old was the time when the terrible news was handed down to me. My vision had deteriorated to the point that I now needed glasses. My mother was raising three children with no help from our father, back then a person could seemingly disappear and never have to worry about being made to actually contribute to the raising of his children. Apparently my father did this with more than one woman too (see my earlier story about my father for all of the details). Since my mother was raising us on the salary of a secretary she had to have some assistance and soon we were living in the projects of Ironton and on food stamps. I personally viewed the food stamps as a shameful thing which came back on me at a much later date.

Another program (state, county, federal?) that we were eligible for was one that through which I could get my glasses for free. The only catch was that there were only three styles of frames to choose from. The first was ugly and was sure to get you insulted and ridiculed by your friends. The second was uglier and was sure to get you insulted, ridiculed and possibly beaten up by strangers. The third was the ugliest and was sure to get you insulted, ridiculed and beaten up by everybody. Guess which ones I would invariably choose? Back then before the many technological advances that we have today my lenses were very thick, attesting to how poor my eyesight actually was, and very large which meant that the frames had to be sturdy enough to hold the lenses in place properly.

Here I am as a cute, normal kid before glasses

And here I am a few years later looking nerdly with glasses

Nowadays even though my vision is far worse the lenses are much thinner and I can wear wireframes if I so desire. Not so back then. So there I was at a young lad at a tender age with poor self confidence and a bad self image and I had to wear these ugly frames with huge lenses that dwarfed my face and that would certainly not mix well at all later when puberty set in. The shy sensitive person that I was now became an instant nerd in the publics opinion simply with the addition of glasses. Life was never the same in more ways than one.

The best time for me was the brief period that I was able to wear contact lenses while in college. For the first time since I was a young child I could actually see out of my whole eyes clearly without the curse of my vision being limited by the outline of the frames. No, it was total freedom, until dust blew into my eyes that is. Still, it was very liberating. Later in life my eyes would change and now they dry out very easily so contacts are pretty much not an option anymore for me. As I said earlier though technology did bring me lighter and better glasses that don't take up my whole face so I've got that going for me.

Unfortunately I don't know if I've ever felt like a single pair of glasses that I've had ever really suited me or just looked good on me. It's probably just all in my head, which can be a dangerous place to be. The thing I want to know is, after a lifetime of watching Star Trek and other sci-fi shows, where's the technology that can simply and quickly fix your vision? And the flying cars, where are the flying cars we were promised? That never came to be. Sure there's expensive laser treatment that might be able to fix your vision but that's just not the same. Come on scientists, work on this. Invent something like Bones used and let's get this vision thing licked once and for all. And get me that flying car, stat.

Written and Published by Don Leach.May not be used without permission from the author.

1 comment:

Gary Rivera said...

Hakuna Matata! Hakuna Matata! No lo olvides