Friday, May 08, 2009

Squinting At The Screen

This morning at around 2:30 or so, I was in the men's room down the hall on the 12th floor at the Lawson House YMCA where I live, when I began feeling sick. I was on the verge of vomiting. It had been my experience that it was not a good idea to wear one's eye glasses while vomiting into the toilet. So I took off the glasses and set them nearby on the window sill in the bathroom stall, intending to retrieve them when everything was taken care of.

Unfortunately, it was a particularly messy experience. (Believe me, you don't want the juicy details.) Of course, I completely cleaned up after myself, but in the process, I was distracted, and I subsequently left my glasses on the window sill instead of taking them to my room with me. I went back to sleep, not realizing that I had left my glasses in the men's room.

Six or seven hours later, I awoke. Then I looked for my glasses. I didn't find them. I thought about it for a few minutes, and I realized what had happened.

I went back to the men's room, hoping that no one had taken my glasses while I was sleeping, but someone had done so.

Later, I bumped into another man living on that floor, and I asked him if he had seen my glasses by any chance. He said that he'd seen them in that stall, and he'd thought about taking them, but he'd realized that someone might come looking for them, so he left them there. That confirmed that I was correct in thinking that I'd left my glasses there.

I went to the security desk next to the front door on the first floor, but they hadn't received glasses from anyone. Nor had anyone in the office on the second floor. So I guess that my only option is to put a sign on the front door leading to the 12th floor hallways, and hope that whoever took my glasses is an honest person who will return them to me when he knows the identity and room number of the owner of the glasses.

I can't really see why the man who took my glasses wouldn't return them to me once he knows who the glasses belong to. It seems highly unlikely that his prescription is identical to mine; and even if that were the case, it also seems unlikely that he'd want to be spotted wearing my glasses around Lawson House. So it seems likely that I'll get them back. But nothing is guaranteed, especially in a building containing a high percentage of residents who don't always think the way that normal people think.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here squinting at the computer screen. My prescription used to be fairly mild, and I could get by fairly easily without my glasses, but my need for glasses when reading has grown during the past decade.

When making PC reservations here at the library, one gets a little printout of the details (e.g., the computer number, the time, etc.) for each reservation. I actually had to ask a security guard to read my reservation receipt for me so that I'd know which computers I'd reserved for today. What a drag!

I'm able to see the lettering on this computer monitor well enough to type this blog post (thanks, in part, to my touch typing abilities, which aren't based entirely on sight), but things are a bit fuzzy in spite of the backlit screen. And printed materials with lightly printed type, small type, etc. can be even harder to read, especially in lighting which isn't quite bright enough.

I really can't afford a new pair of glasses right now. In fact, the old pair was free, thanks to a program operated by a local college of optometry. I've had that pair for almost two years now, so perhaps I can get a new pair soon through that program, if I don't get the lost glasses back from the man who took them. Otherwise, I will probably just buy some off the shelf reading glasses at Osco or Walgreens, and hope that they suffice for my most pressing needs, until I can afford to get some real prescription glasses again. Even reading glasses represent an expense I can't really afford right now, but they're a whole lot less expensive than prescription glasses, and also a lot less time-consuming (in terms of having to schedule an appointment weeks in advance, wait another week or more for the glasses, and so forth).

My father, who was an optometrist, used to handle all of my optometric needs when I was a kid, and he continued to do so a little longer even after I'd become a young adult. But he's been dead since 1999, and we'd been distant from one another (both geographically and emotionally) for quite some time before that. So it's been a long time since I was able to get my optometric needs met by my father. There are a lot of things I don't particularly miss about him, but that is one of the things I do miss. He was a very good optometrist, until he foolishly allowed excessive liquor consumption to put an end to his professional practice.

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