Framed

headlines 2

A freshly laundered pillowcase makes headlines. I wake to the bad press.

Without glasses I feel vulnerable but look a little scary. Which makes sense: so often it is the most frightened people who say and do the most frightening things, especially when you get them into large groups: lynching, caucusing, you name it.

Glasses allow me to keep my distance from the world. A couple weeks before Christmas, the frame snapped on my old pair and I had to get new ones. I went to one of these places that offer two for the price of one: great, I thought, I can go twice as long before I have to get another eye exam, by which time I will probably need bifocals. But that’s another story.

A friend with more fashion sense than me showed up to help me pick the two pairs: one a light wire frame similar to what I had before, and the other a hipper style: thick, dark green plastic rectangles around each eye that say I AM WEARING GLASSES. My friend assures me they make me look like an urban architect, but I’ve decided they make me look like someone I’d like to punch in the face. They are, however, made of 100% recycled plastic, so they are figuratively as well as literally green.

So great, I can make a political statement with my choice of eyewear. But the other frames — the ones that do their best to be invisible — make a kind of statement as well. You can bend them completely in half and they won’t break! That’s the kind of politics that actually gets you places in this country. Eventually, of course, they will break, but then I’ll just don the other pair, which by then should be completely out of fashion. Which means I won’t have to spend long hours in front of the mirror practicing an air of urbanity and trying to avoid punching myself in the face.

The optometrist told me I have the eyes of a teenager, whatever that means. I guess it means there’s no medical marijuana in my future.

Hey! I should’ve held out for frames made entirely of hemp.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

8 Comments


  1. Interesting to read Dave that you have the eyes of a teenager (‘Then give them back you bounder! He needs them more than you do!’) even though you spend a goodly portion of your time looking at a screen. You’re lucky. No matter how low I have the brightness on the laptop turned down, my eyes smart and become bloodshot after a short while. I’ve been known to wear sunglasses to alleviate the problem, but I look a complete idiot!

    I’ve always wanted a pair of those spectacles framed in bendable ‘wire with memory’, though I know I would only use them to play with.

    Last year I had my eyes tested at Specsavers and came away with two-for-the-price-of-one pairs of smart, almost frameless spectacles. I was told that there had not been significant changes to my sight since my last prescription eight years previously, and I trotted off thinking that with luck maybe I wouldn’t trouble with another test for five years. However I’m clearly on the computer system because what I though was a ‘reminder’ arrived from Specsavers last week. I tutted as I impatiently tore open the envelope, only to discover a missive inside suggesting that now I am sixty, perhaps it’s time to have my hearing tested!!! Not yet my friends, not yet!

    Glad to hear that you’re starting the new year with well-tested eyes and urban architect frames!

    Reply

    1. I tutted as I impatiently tore open the envelope, only to discover a missive inside suggesting that now I am sixty, perhaps it’s time to have my hearing tested!!!
      The cheeky bastards! Do they have some sort of special arrangement with the people who make hearing aids? It’s one thing to share a mailing list, but this sounds incestuous.

      Anyway, glad to hear your eyes are well taken care of for the foreseeable future. They are kind of vital to your line of work, I’m thinking. I could go blind and still function as a poet, but if I lost my hearing it would kill me.

      Reply

  2. Chuckles, yes. And your disclosure is sending me on a word-hunt for (self-)effacement. Thinking about what all it means. :-)

    Congrats on those teen-age eyes. You don’t need a prescription!

    Reply

    1. Oh, but I do — I’m very near-sighted, hence the vulnerable feeling when I break my glasses. The full quote was, “Aside from the fact that your focal distance is twice as long as it should be, you have the eyes of a teenager.”

      Reply

  3. I suspect it’s the hours spent outdoors that keep your eyes healthy – taking in the wider view, the distant points, not soley the screen and the page in front of your face. Most of us only see the distance if waiting for the bus, and rarely take in the whole. Or, you just have good genes.

    Reply

    1. Probably it’s just a combination of good genes and good diet (lots of fruits and vegetables). Because I spend way too much time in front of the computer screen.

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  4. This was good for several chuckles, Dave. Starting with those great opening “lines!”

    Perhaps you could be a fashion-forward kind of guy and match your glasses to your clothing — on days when you dress like a guy you’d like to punch, wear those green glasses. Maybe you’ll have to add new items to your wardrobe?

    Thanks for a delightful post! I’ll be following, as Robin has urged me to do more than once. I’m lazy and I take awhile to catch on….

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Tara — and pleased to meet you. That’s a good idea. Maybe a visit to the Goodwill is in order. I could adopt a whole new personality which I could bring out on special occasions…

      Reply

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