"Your left eye," the optometrist casually explained while blasting my face with a blue laser at point blank range, "is farsighted and shaped like an eyeball. The other eye is nearsighted and shaped like a football. Not even a good football. A Nerf knockoff pitted with mysterious bitemarks."
"Oh, that's interesting!" I cheerfully replied as she poured yellow chemical goo directly into my eye sockets.
I was there because ten years had passed since my last eye exam. Well, more specifically I was there because my ten year old glasses had finally disintegrated and I didn't have much of a choice.
A few years back I slapped at my own face to swat a bee. That had snapped one of the frames' hinges clean off, a problem I solved with modeling glue and part of a paperclip. Then last week I fell asleep reading a book about lasers and space socialism (as I do just about every night) and awoke to find that I had not just rolled over onto my glasses in my sleep, but had then apparently sleepwalked to a junkyard and ran them through a car crusher.
This I also attempted to fix, with a different glue, which turned out to be the kind that expands and sizzles pitted canals into plastic and glass. Somehow this fix didn't work.
So here I was, learning about my eyeball's shameful deformed shape, which is called an astigmatism. Would it be possible for someone with my condition to get contact lenses?
"Yes! Just put your face here. Chin on that bar. Good. Now look directly at the serene image of the farmhouse on a distant green hill. DON'T LOOK TO EITHER SIDE! You may notice a laser grid approaching your eye, very similar to the laser grid in that first Resident Evil movie that chopped a dude into a thousand pieces. Just keep looking at the farmhouse. Play it cool and no one gets hurt."
With the surface of my terrible eyes fully mapped, her assistant attempted to walk me through the process of inserting and removing my trial contacts.
"Okay, first you lift your upper eyelid and look up. Then you place the contact."
"Got it. Like this? Oops."
"No, don't blink. Hold the lid open."
"Try it again. Just don't blink."
"Okay. Crap. When the contact gets close to my eye, my whole face tries to stop it. I promise I'm trying to hold my eyelid open."
"Well, do it again. Just don't blink."
"Yeah. Okay. Here I go..."
"No. Listen, don't blink."
"You've got to stop blinking!"
Somewhere between two minutes and an eternity later, I overcame my face's efforts to defend itself. Stepping outside was surreal. Suddenly I was able to see each individual tree leaf and blade of grass on my pants. I had expected the lenses to rub against my eyelids or exert pressure on my eyes, but that wasn't the case.
I couldn't tell if anything was in my eye at all. It was great!
"I can't tell if anything is in my eye at all," I whimpered to myself later that night, inches away from my bathroom mirror after ten minutes of trying to remove a lens. "This is terrible!"
Being able to see is worth the hassle. I highly recommend having vision. Some people say it's not one of the five senses. I disagree. I think it's absolutely one of the five senses.
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