They told me it would make me go blind. But I don’t think any of us anticipated how much time and dedication would be required to make that prophecy come true.
Finally after 35 years of daily grind I require reading glasses. Achievement unlocked. When do I get the hairy palms that I was promised?
It’s a real kick in the eye-balls to finally have to admit my ocular decrepitude. I’d been living in denial about the state of my close-up vision. In my head I am 23 and without spectacles my birth certificate was a blur, so there was no way of proving I was older.
But backstage at a gig I’d been trying to mend a hole in my suit trousers, but I could hardly see the needle, let alone locate its eye and had a frustrating five minutes of playing a boring version of pin the tail on the donkey as I failed to thread it. And when I needed my phone magnifying app to read my credit card expiry date I knew the jig was up. I am on the cusp of my sixth decade on this planet and all my parts are starting to seize up. In fact if anything it would seem that it was daily visits with Madame Palm and her five daughters that were keeping my eyesight so sharp. Or possibly the constant jiggling was at the exact correct frequency to counteract my blurred vision. As it’s only now that I’ve slowed down a bit that I see the world as it truly is.
I’ve never had an eye test before and so was surprised to find out it was nothing like a Two Ronnies sketch. The optician could see perfectly, none of her furniture resembled the alphabet and she didn’t even have that chart with the pyramid of letters in descending size. Instead I had to peer into futuristic devices and have lights flashed at me or count dots in my periphery.
And the joke was on the opticians because they’d sent me a voucher so I was getting all this for free. Suckers! It was like a video arcade where you don’t need any coins!
Admittedly having done their test they then sold me some expensive glasses, insisting I needed special lenses that would block out the blue light from my computer for a premium price. But the video games were for nothing. Idiots! I might go back every day.
It’s a dent to my pride and my delusions of youth that I officially need glasses (and I might even wear them on a chain around my neck, to get the full Larry Grayson effect – it’s probably enough of a sign of old age that I use him as a reference). The journalist Aleks Krotoski one told me that technically wearing spectacles makes a human part cyborg so I can at least pretend I am the Bionic Man and now have telescopic vision. Again my frame of reference betraying my attempts to pretend I am young.
I already make a noise every time I sit down or stand up and the other day I watched an old episode of Last of the Summer Wine and found lots of it mildly amusing. And I was delighted to see that the Guardian has introduced a whole new page of puzzles on its inside back cover but was considering writing them a letter of complaint because they have not reintroduced a daily kakuro.
I would worry that the bell was tolling for me, but I can’t really hear anything that quiet any more.
Leicester City have topped the Premier League and my team York City seem doomed to claim the bottom spot in League Two. These two cities fought over who would get to bury Richard III. Seemingly the winner has become magically invincible and the loser cursed. I am writing a caper movie where the York squad attempt to steal the King’s bones. But they drop the skull and the opposition scores.