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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Eyes Don’t Have It

My contact lenses are betraying me. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a new pair, and my vision has gradually drifted from ‘barely passable for safely operating a pencil sharpener’ to ‘sorry, officer, I thought the sign said STOOP’.

(Yeah, it seemed weird to me, too. But what could I do? I stooped.

All the way through the intersection. At forty miles an hour. The damned thing didn’t say how fast I could stoop. I’m definitely fighting that ticket.)

My failing eyesight has led to quite a few inconveniences. For instance, it’s difficult to make out people’s faces at a distance. Or up close. Or at any range that doesn’t involve actually poking them with my eyelashes. So many conversations have started lately with someone walking towards me, and me squinting them down as they approach.

“For instance, it’s difficult to make out people’s faces at a distance. Or up close. Or at any range that doesn’t involve actually poking them with my eyelashes.”

On the good side, this does tend to scare off some of the newer people in the office, coming by to ask me questions. They take my squinting look to mean, ‘What the hell are you here for?‘ And occasionally, they’ll do an about-face, and I can go back to staring at my keyboard and monitor to see what’s really in that email I thought I was writing.

(Usually, it’s gibberish. Which is true whether I can see or not. But I want to make sure it’s properly-punctuated English gibberish, or the boss will think I’m boozing it up in my cube.

Again. I don’t see what all the fuss was about, frankly. It was only a mini-keg. Sheesh.)

Of course, the old-school folks in the office don’t care how I look at them, and charge ahead, anyway. Still, not being able to recognize people at a glance poses quite a challenge. If Bill’s talking to me, and I call him ‘Fred’ or ‘Joe’ because I can’t see him, he won’t appreciate that. Certainly, the time I called Doreen ‘Frank’, she took it very poorly.

And don’t even ask how it goes when my wife climbs into bed and squint and ask:

Honey? Is that you?

(I’ll give you a hint — it goes only marginally better than when the dog jumps up and I ask the same question, where my wife happens to hear it.

It doesn’t seem to bother the dog nearly as much. I can still get a little tongue from her after the mistake. Whether I want it or not — because lord knows I can’t see it coming.)

I suppose I can’t really blame my contact lenses. They’re still the same bits of flimsy clear plastic they always were. Maybe with a few extra scratches and fingerprints, but they’re bent in the same shape they were when I bought them a year ago, which means they’re correcting my vision to exactly the same degree.

Which means it’s my eyes that are getting worse — a clear sign of advancing age.

(Or in my case, an indistinct blurry sign of advancing age. Maybe with a set of bifocals, I could focus on the sign a little better.

And maybe I should wear a shawl while I sit in my rocking chair, so I don’t get the old people pneumonia. *Thhhhbbbbtttt!*)

Still, I need to make time to visit the peeper doctor. If my eyesight gets much worse, it might not be entirely safe to drive my car.

Who the hell am I kidding? If it gets any worse, I might not be able to find my car. Not without activating the alarm and playing ‘Marco Polo’ to meander me toward the driveway, anyway. At that point, those STOOP signs and SPUD LIMIT markers will be the least of my worries.

Who knew you’re only allowed to carry 55 potatoes on Interstate 95, anyway? You learn something new every day.

Permalink  |  1 Comment



One Response to “The Eyes Don’t Have It”

  1. Kari says:

    I could knit or crochet you a white shawl for your rocking chair endeavours!

    The horrible truth of that matter is your eyes have probably only changed a tad, just enough to make you crazy. I always think my eyes have suddenly gotten tons worse and they have only changed just enough to make my world blurry.

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