“‘You’re just a blur to me,’ I said, taking off my glasses. ‘You’re absolutely nothing to me,’ he snapped, sharply.”
— James Thurber

I received my new eyeglasses today. I got them online for $30 and I was anxious to have a look through them. They’re perfect, really. Perfect, that is, if you want to see things in the distance. I don’t drive, but I can now tell a spruce from a pine, and I can see whether that’s a bus or a truck bearing down on me in the road.

There must have been some kind of contretemps with the optician, though, because I can’t use these things to read. It’s all very well to know an oak from an elm, or a taxi from a police car, but my life is now bereft of its essentials. I can’t see books, computer screens, my friends’ faces, my own face in the mirror, letters, memos, email, pamphlets, newspapers, crosswords (American and British), pamphlets (ACLU, AAA, ALA, AHA, AARP), Christmas cards, sheet music, or cereal boxes.

I’ll keep these distance glasses. I may someday want to see the things they reveal. But I’m sending off my order immediately for reading glasses, the ones that let me access the essence of my reality.