First Contact(s)

A story.

I’ve worn glasses for most of my life.  My eyesight is not particularly good and I need the glasses to get around, though they come with a host of problems that any glasses-wearer is probably familiar with.  In the winter, I can’t wear a scarf around my face without going blind because my glasses fog up.  In the rain, I can’t see around the giant raindrop-boulders coating the lenses.  I must constantly adjust their position and they’re always getting snagged on things or knocked off my face when I’m doing field work.

But I always tolerated these problems with a certain stubborn stoicism.  Until…

One day, I was hiking with a couple of blokes up Mt. Warning in Australia.  It poured rain the whole day, soaking us instantly to the bone.  These two blokes were a few sizes larger than me (not that I’m small, mind you), and I had to trot at a pretty good pace to keep up.  I couldn’t see out of my glasses for the rain and had taken them off.  I was thus relying on one of their jackets (a neon yellow), bouncing along ahead of me, as a kind of will-o-the-wisp to keep me on the trail.

Nonetheless, I was lagging a bit behind when they suddenly stopped.  The jacket got larger in my vision until I was close enough to distinguish faces (that’s pretty close, for me).  “Standingoutinmyfield,” they said, pointing, “What is that bird?”

I squinted at a brownish blurry blob on a background of mud, rubbed my eyes, tried putting on my useless glasses and taking them off again, hemmed and hawed.  Finally, I dug through my pack to get my binoculars (also useless when covered in water), and tried ineffectually rubbing at them with my soaked shirt.

When I put them to my eyes and still couldn’t see anything, I wilted somewhat.  “Um, I can’t…I can’t see it…” I mumbled to the blokes.

“Ugh, what did we bring you along for then?!” they exclaimed, before heading off at their breakneck pace again.


It was then and there that I decided I would get contacts.  Just for situations like that.  I hate being useless.  But it was months before I was in one place long enough to do something about it, and by then my motivation had lagged somewhat.

Out for a run one day, it began to pour.  I was forced to take off my glasses again, lest I be completely blinded.  As I was running along, I saw two short metal posts and decided to run between them.  What I did not see was the metal chain strung between the two posts.

In a moment of utter confusion, I ran into the chain at full speed.  It whacked me solidly in the thigh and I swung around and somehow ended up with one foot on the chain, swinging back and forth, one foot sliding in the mud, and both arms wrapped around a nearby tree.

Then I sat down hard with a SPLOOSH.  The next day, when I changed into my bathing suit for a swim, there was a lovely chain shaped bruise across my thigh.

I set up an eye appointment for later that day, and never looked back*.

*Pun intended.


6 thoughts on “First Contact(s)

  1. I have worn hard contacts since my early twenties and I think they have the added benefit of retaining the cornea. My vision hasn’t really deteriorated since then. I would get the laser treatment but at my age I would lose the ability to see close up really well without glasses and that is too precious to me. My son, a long time glasses wearer, has now 20/20 vision that has even been corrected for astigmatism by laser treatment.

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