Sunday, 7 November 2010
I can see clearly now...
I’ve been test-driving a pair of contact lenses for the last week. The optician has said I can try them for two weeks, after which I’ll have to decide whether to sign up permanently or not.
At first wearing them was ...stunning. I felt like a man reborn, or at least rescued from a life of balancing two ovals of glass on his face. I wasn’t wearing glasses, yet I could run, I could shower, I could read credit card receipts. I began to wonder why the world was full of people wearing contraptions that gouged into their noses, got flecked with rain and fell off every time they tried to tie their shoelace. Didn’t they know their faces too could be liberated, their vision too set free from that hint of framing glass which even the best glasses bring? Such freedom!
Then I began to notice little imperfections. I could see the world OK but the people, the trees, the scenery, were all just that teensy bit less sharp than they’d been when I was wearing glasses. The same applied to driving: I could see into the distance, of course I could, but it had a softer edge. Reading was better, although I noticed I needed a good light source. As for TV – well, there wasn’t a thing happening on that screen that I couldn’t tell you about. At the same time there was this hint of a shadow image. Nothing to speak of but not what you want to see when you’re cheering on your favourite news presenter, Jon Snow, without (hooray for Jon, quite right, Hitler didn’t win the war) his poppy. As for the laptop, I found if I lifted it several inches above the desk and tilted it back on its uppers, I could clearly read every word on its screen.
And I did mention that with contact lenses, you have to get used to putting your index finger into your eye as often as fifteen times each morning and repeat the process each evening? While peering into a magnifying mirror and swearing furiously?
So now, after one week of trial, I’ve been forced to accept that around 80% of my waking hours are spent doing things that require optical assistance. Like them or loath them, glasses do the job better. They don’t make me feel like rejuvenated. They cut into my flesh, they keep getting lost, their lenses get marked and they slide down my nose. But I still suspect I'll have to say goodbye to my seductive little contact lenses and return to my boring old, awkward old, where-in-the good-God-Almighty's-name-did-I-leave-them glasses.
Except I decide to let them at me with a laser beam...