So Near Yet So Far

After most of a lifetime being near sighted, I’m suddenly far sighted.

The change came about through a pact with ophthalmology. “We’ll remove your cataracts and install an artificial lens in each eye,” the doctor said. “You have to choose how you want to see for the rest of your life; near or far.”

The doctor recommended far sightedness. “Better for driving and generally getting around,” she said. “It’s what most people choose. For everything closeup, readers are cheap compared to getting prescription distance lenses and you don’t have to worry about expensive prescription sunglasses.”

Made sense to me. My new 20/20 distant vision turned out as sharp and brilliant as promised and I celebrated my return to a focused world, until I picked up a book.

This doesn’t work! I exclaimed to myself, squinting at pages of blurry lines and photos of unidentifiable faces.

“I said you would need readers, remember?” My optometrist soothed my worried mind. “We’ll fix you right up with a prescription. Now, look at these letters. Which is clearer; this. . . Or this.” After many repetitions she handed me my ticket to read. “Take this prescription to CVS and buy a pair of readers.”

That worked fine until I stared at my computer screen. “This still isn’t working!” I exclaimed again.

“Oh yeah,” soothed the optometrist a second time. “We can give you another prescription or we can fit you with graduated lenses that will correct for both computer and book reading for more money. You can also get bifocals. They’re cheaper, but less effective.”

My vision was getting complicated. “So,” I replied. “I either get expensive prescription lenses anyway or I carry around two pairs of readers?”

“That’s right.” My perky optometrist smiled like she was doing me a big favor. “We recommend you get different colors so you can tell them apart.”

I’ve come to realize I spend a lot more time looking close up than I ever did gazing at distant sights. I’ve also learned I’m too absent minded to keep track of just one pair of each prescription.

Welcome to my house full of glasses. Watch your step.

By the way, have I told you about my hearing aids?

Published by James W. White

fiction writer

2 thoughts on “So Near Yet So Far

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