The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

This is quite possibly a familial complaint, maybe even something reaching far into our genetic memories, so if you are a writerly friend who is about to be offended by my pet-peeves, let me apologize now and plead that this is nothing personal.

At my house, reading aloud is a tradition. My Dad used to read to us before we slept from 101 Bedtime Stories, followed by the prayer that included the phrase, “If I Should Die Before I Wake.” A phrase that has haunted me all the way into a book I’ve written called If I Should Die. I’ve read to both of my kids and they read back to me and they will read to their families long after my eyes grow dim. But, let’s go back to the topic of those pesky eyes.

Eyes do some incredible things, especially in fiction. I’ve read about eyes falling upon, dropping, dragging, darting, skimming, rolling up and back, fluttering, blinking, and closing. Eyes pop, glow, screw up, screw up to the sun, squint, and are pressed upon by darkness.

What else can eyes do? Recently, eyes have been dragged down a menu, been glued to things, spotted, and been nailed. Some of these eye actions have been perpetrated by other eyes. Eyes are often caught or catch depending on the point of view.

Then of course we have the apple of my eye, the red eye, the rheumy eye, bloodshot eyes, dry eyes and watering eyes. They cry, they twitch, they are blackened and baggy. They cross, they drift and they twitch.

Then eyes have corners. They have sties, cataracts and diabetic complications. Eyes can be heavy and heavy lidded. Lost in swollen faces.

Eyes are the window to the soul. Just look them in the eye. Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes. I only have eyes for you.

I hope my musings on eye catching narrative do not ruin whatever book you are reading. I hope no one is seriously giving me the evil eye for alerting their future readers to the eye antics. I’ll be back soon with yet another topic or story and you can bet I’ll be telling it big. If you have an eye issue I have not included, leave a comment.

I just remembered we have eye teeth. Okay, I’m done.

The Eyes Have It

I tried out my first set of contact lenses in the late 1980s. My only experience was recalling my bonus sister working with her glass contacts on Thanksgiving Day in the mid 1970s. I remember it making a clunk noise as it fell to the table. In High School, I remember some of the wealthier kids, plopping their lenses out and licking them before putting them back.

My first pair were gas permeable. Made of hard plastic. The left lens had a tiny dot on it to remind be where it went. They needed nothing short of a thorough scrubbing every night.

My daughter and her friends would gather round me as I spread a towel, set up a mirror and began the process of aiming for my eye. I knew they were in because they felt like pebbles.

As I was lead to understand it, my eye lids would form actual calluses inside and someday I would manage a full blink without feeling the edges of the pebbles.

After several years in glasses, I gave contacts another go. More ridged gas permeable lenses and these felt more like buttons. Lint, dust, feather attracting buttons. Back to glasses.

The contact lens makers caught up to me and I have been successfully wearing soft contact lenses since around the turn of the century.

A typical day without contacts is okay, I can see most anything and use cheaters to read, around the house, anyway. Walking into a store sans contacts is like living in a blurry fish bowl. There is sweet spot where I can see clearly, seven feet out and things become a soft blur, closer than two feet, forget it without cheaters.

With my contacts on, I can see all the way to the back of the store but everything computer distance and closer is a soft unresolvable blur. I can drive but haven’t seen my dashboard for a number of years.

I ran out of contacts and made an appointment with my eye care professional and complained with all the drama I could muster, that I wanted to see my food when I was eating, but I also wanted to see the television at the same time.

He prescribed multi-focal contact lenses. The kind the man in the television commercial needs in order to read the menu without his wife’s cat-eye cheaters. He said, just wear them, give them a week and come back in. The woman who works the front of the contact lens clinic said she’d mail them to me and I should just wear them. Give them a week.

Being a research and internet junkie, I went home, applied my reading glasses and looked up multi-focal contact lenses. I understood why they said, just wear them.

I’ve read reviews, many of them not very positive. I got the lenses yesterday afternoon. I am just wearing them. I can see the Young and the Restless and I can see the computer, these are two things that have been mutually exclusive for a long time. Once in a while I can see up close.

My brain is cool. It seems to be ignoring the near focus when I look across the room and doing the computer focus reliably while ignoring the distance part of the lens. Close up work is still fleeting but my brain is still adapting. I suspect part of the close up issue has to do with the way I’ve been coping.

I am used to seeing up close through what are essentially, two, magnifying glasses held steady by some Foster Grant Frames. When I manage to get focus through the new lenses, the print is not magnified.

What is my first impression of multi-focals? I’ll tell you next week, till then, the eyes have it.