legally blind

Friday, I left school early and proceeded to sleep for at least twelve hours. And would have slept for more, had my cat not promptly sat on my face the moment I opened my eyes.

The point is, I didn’t put on my corrective lenses that night like I was supposed to, so I woke up to blurry vision. (If that didn’t make sense to you, rest assured that it doesn’t make sense to most other people, either. All you really need to know is that I wear weird contacts.)

When you wear contacts like these, it’s hard to switch eye doctors, because they require you to stop wearing the contacts for a good amount of time before they can prescribe you new ones at their office. And I can’t do that, obviously, because I can’t see without them.

I woke up this Saturday and decided I no longer cared. “That’s it,” I said to Cat. “I’m switching to normal-people contacts. I mean, I’ve already started the transition period. Might as well go all the way, right?”

She didn’t respond, but she did get off my face.

It’s the little victories in life.

The rest of the day was spent in horror as I realized just how bad my vision was. I couldn’t read nutrition labels while eating breakfast. I couldn’t make out words farther than my computer screen. Most importantly, though, I looked horrible in glasses. They made my head hurt, although that could also be because they were my glasses from sixth grade and my head—although humongous even then—has swelled considerably since.

But I persevered throughout the day, reassured that, at least, my eyesight couldn’t possibly get any worse from there.

It did.

Right now, everything is out of focus. My world is essentially a low-resolution flip phone camera. Hours earlier, I was at Bed Bath & Beyond looking for a reasonably priced and, therefore, nonexistent 70”x120” tablecloth, when I realized I couldn’t see any of the size labels or price tags.

So, naturally, I whipped out my iPhone camera and started looking at everything through that, which is a technique I really should have thought of a long time ago. Even back when I could see. I wouldn’t have had to lean down and check any labels—just stand in place, wave around a phone, and zoom in and out. But I guess necessity really is the mother of invention.

I was holding my phone up above my head like in The Lion King and zooming in to make out a tablecloth positioned particularly high up the shelves when someone else entered the aisle.

He was an old man with a ruddy complexion. An employee. We made eye contact, and I watched his gaze slide slowly from my face to my phone, to the shelves of tablecloths, and then back to my face. He grabbed a tablecloth without looking and turned on his heel.

I thought about explaining that I wasn’t a tablecloth enthusiast photographing the newest arrivals, just a girl trying to cope with the consequences of reading too many Harry Potter novels in the dark as a child, and then decided I’d rather just let it be.

4 thoughts on “legally blind

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