I knew that my sight was not as sharp as it had been, but I put off going to the doctor for about a year. Finally a month ago I had that long dreaded appointment. The doctor confirmed that I was nearsighted and needed glasses, I had been expecting to need reading glasses as well, so her verdict was slightly more positive than I'd allowed for. I was feeling okay. Then she put drops in my eyes to dilate the irises and told me to go look at frames while the drops took effect.
And there I stood, facing walls and walls of glasses. Panic set in. I randomly put a pair on my face. All I could see was a face with glasses, I didn’t even register how the glasses looked. I picked another pair. With each pair I got more freaked out. This was going to be a permanent part of my life now. When a shop assistant came over I told her I didn’t know what I wanted and I wasn’t going to buy glasses today anyways.
Maybe I didn’t really need glasses? The doctor said I would only really have to wear them when I drove, and I don’t have a car. I was functioning fine without glasses. Maybe I could get away without them for another year. How bad was my sight anyways?
I gave in and ordered a cheap pair online.
On Wednesday my first pair of glasses arrived in the mail. We were on our way to my parents house for a delayed Christmas dinner. I unwrapped them in the car and put them on. I had been told that I would really see the difference when I looked at trees. And there it was, instead of seeing a tree as a collection of branches, I could see every twig, every twist of bark and layer of snow, slight and thick. And not just with the trees closest to me, but all of them, everything I looked at was minutely detailed, as if I were looking at an exquisite engraving or a finely detailed miniature.
“Are you going to be okay?” Andrew asked.
“Probably. But this is really freaking me out.”
I couldn’t stop staring at everything. We drove over the bridge and the guardrail, a grid of steel bars was lit up by a streetlight which threw square shadows and was lined with glistening white snow all of which stretched into the distance, swelling in its approach.
“I can’t believe that I haven’t been seeing all of this. What else have I been missing?”
I look like a different person and feel like a different person, but that detail is addictive and the act of putting on glasses, of making one simple movement which instantly brings the world into clarity, is stunning.