Saturday, March 3, 2012


I did something sort of interesting the other day. I was suddenly called away from home by a friend, who wanted me to come see him perhaps a few minutes walk away. The trouble was that I didn't have my contacts in, and my roommate was in the shower. He and I have no understanding about one busting on on the other, and so I just could not get my contacts. I went out in my glasses, the prescription for which is perhaps six or seven years out of date.

I found it irritating to wear them, but resisted taking them off because it seemed like vanity. I then decided that it would be a kind of adventure to see how I would manage without any corrective lenses. I was on foot, of course. It was a stimulating experience. I was alarmed afresh at how bad my eyes have become. I can cope without lenses, I found, so long as I need not read any signs or identify persons around me. Still, it was less than ideal.

My head started to hurt because of all the squinting I was doing, not that doing that helped my eyesight any. I feared also that the faces I was making and the general behavior I was exhibiting as a result of seeing poorly might trouble the people around me. If that was so, then they didn't make an issue of it. I expect that the bar is rather high for odd behavior, and I probably didn't come anywhere near the level at which you do something about it.

Just as I was getting back home, the most interesting thing happened. I saw a man out in front of my building and I thought that he had a dog with him that he was walking. I saw him walking away from the dog and talking on a phone, but I just figured that he was multitasking and that there was plenty of slack on the leash. I even thought that I knew who the man was and who his dog was, having seen them around before. I was wrong about the man and the dog.

When I got close, I could see that it wasn't a dog at all, but a woman. She had on shorts, and my eyes had failed to spot her bare legs. I could only see the dark-colored top she had on, and so I thought it was a dog. I had known that there would be hazards involved in walking around the city with bad eyes, but I figured it would be something like being hit by a car. As it turns out, the greatest danger of all came from a case of mistaken identity.

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