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I can see clearly now l Chuck’s World


Last updated 4/24/2019 at Noon

I discovered a truism this morning, which is when I usually run across them. Life stops making sense around 1 p.m., in my experience, so the early mornings are when I look for insight breakthroughs.

(I just realized that the above paragraph sounds like it came from a Gwyneth Paltrow newsletter. I do apologize. Also, I’m available to ghostwrite.)

My latest epiphany was this: If you can’t have coffee because your coffee-making apparatus is unplugged, and it takes you a while to figure this out, then you have not had enough coffee to be allowed to make coffee.

End of epiphany.

Actually, these might more accurately be called proverbs. I’m a little unclear on my lexicography, although I’ve certainly had enough coffee by now to look that word up.

Trying to make something that will stimulate your tired brain into working a teensy bit better is a particular sort of conundrum, I think, like driving your car to the repair shop when it won’t start.

Or trying on glasses.

Cellphone cameras can help, but shopping for glasses should best be done with an accomplice. Whenever I try on new frames alone and glance at the mirror to see how they look, I feel as though I’ve accidentally wandered into a Monty Python sketch.

This isn’t why I procrastinate about getting new glasses. I procrastinate about everything. It’s how I plan to live forever. Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow, I always say.

Actually, that’s the literal meaning of the word “procrastinate,” to move something forward to tomorrow. Coffee is a wonderful thing.

More people wear spectacles today than at any other point in human history, which is a fact I just made up, but I’m sure is true. More people use cellphones than ever, also. Also? There are more people. We can just keep going, if you’d like.

But maybe our eyes are strained by modern life; I have no idea. I just know that I come from a family of people who have imperfect eyesight, and I’ve produced children with the same condition. One of them married someone with similar vision, and recently I noticed a picture of my grandson squinting. We’re one of those families.

I’ve been wearing glasses or contacts since I was 12, then, and as the prescription has barely changed in the last decade or so, I procrastinated a little about getting them checked. And then I procrastinated the next day.

This went on for several hundred days, well after I was aware that my vision had dramatically deteriorated in my left eye. It was pretty blurry even with glasses.

I realize I’m probably preaching to a myopic choir here, given my age and almost certainly your age. Eyes begin to go bad fairly early, and by some point most people need at least occasional help with vision, and the others are lying about it.

Anyway, this was just age-related change, cataracts beginning to form, not ready for surgery yet but causing some blurring and glare problems. I got a new prescription. This was in January.

What? I got pretty busy. It was snowing, if you’re not so smug that you’ve already forgotten. There were other things. Hundreds of days didn’t go by.

Maybe a hundred.

But I have new glasses, and I’m pleased. I can see a little better, but mostly I’m happy because I hated the other ones. They were stylish at the time I bought them, suggested by my personal millennial (everyone needs one, especially if you’re a guy over 50 buying jeans), but just never felt right.

I’d been wearing the same wire-rim style for 40 years and a change was due, but these were too heavy. They dug grooves in my ears. It hurt to smile. Sometimes it hurt to blink.

While my new ones aren’t exactly that old John Denver style, circa 1974, they’re still basically a wire frame, with rounder lenses than I’ve worn in the past, which allowed me to make a few Harry Potter jokes.

Others made similar jokes. This was all in fun. I’m a fan of the franchise. I’m obviously a Gryffindor, so there’s no real debate.

But this 12-year-old (classic Hufflepuff) was running around in my vicinity the other day, a little antsy, acting very much like he’d just learned how to plug in a coffeemaker, and he yelled out, “Hey, it’s Mr. Harry Potter!” and that gave me a funny idea.

There’s not enough room in this space to tell you the whole idea. You’ll just have to take my word that it was very funny. It was basically a reimagining of the storyline of the film “Hook,” in this case featuring Harry Potter, not Peter Pan, who grows up and forgets he was a wizard.

But I explained it to a group of friends, standing around a hallway, intelligent, thoughtful people, and as I spoke they observed me with polite but blank looks.

Because “Hook” was made in 1991. Two of these were young women not even born at the time. The other would have been in college.

So, I learned another truism: Not everyone has seen every movie you have, particularly if you’ve been around a while. Good to know.

Although my friend in college in 1991 really should have seen it. She’s been procrastinating for over 10,000 days, I pointed out. Which was kind of a Slytherin move, I admit.

I may have to rethink everything now.


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