August 16, 2010

Floors and glasses.

I scrubbed my kitchen floor today and, as always, it looks exactly the same now as it did before I scrubbed it.

I scrub on my hands and knees because I don’t think one can really clean a floor with a mop, unless one is not wearing their glasses. Without glasses, the kitchen floor looks pure and holy, like the only weight it has borne is dappled sunlight at 4:00 in the afternoon. Like no cat has ever walked on it let along coughed up a mole-sized hair ball. Like the fridge, stove and dishwasher are holding their breath lest they sully its bright broadness with a crumb or a drop of water.

Some things are better without glasses. Sleeping – better without glasses. Early morning glances in the mirror – better without glasses.

A year or so ago, while on stage with Cindy and Raylene and in a state of dreamy repose (forgetting, momentarily why I was there) I noticed neither of them were wearing glasses. It came to me in a shocking instant that they were wearing contact lenses! It was a hard moment. They were clear, bright, beautiful. There was nothing between them and the audience. Well, except for the microphone, several cords, little  pedals, monitors, the lip of the stage and approximately 15 feet.

There I sat, stunned with the self awareness that I was wearing glasses on stage. Glasses. Sweaty , smudged, back and forth slipping up and down glasses. It occurred to me that I had wasted a lot of make-up that night – and many nights before – because  no one could actually see me. It was in that invisible state that I decided I would get contact lenses. I, too, would be clear, bright and beautiful. There would no longer be anything between me and my audience. Except for: see above.

My helpful optometrist fitted me out with handfuls of little gel packs, some labeled R, some L.  In each, there was a lens. After repeated scoops of a pudgy finger in a little gel pack, I retrieved a tiny sliver of something that seemed like a cross between teardrop and a tiny blob of egg white. I balanced it on my right index finger, used my middle finger to pull down my lower lid and popped the little thing on to my right eyeball. Like wise the left eyeball. Miraculously, immediately, I could see quite a distance. I left the office thrilled with a new reality.

When I entered the car, I realized that I could not read the instrumentation panel. I was able to drive home despite the blur, still chuffed with my new status-  a person unburdened by glasses.

I denied the little nuisances that forced me to go out and buy drugstore reading glasses so that I could read, work at the computer and recognize whether I had an orange or a yellow pepper on my plate. I thought it was kind of fun that I had to get new non-prescription sunglasses because my prescription sunglasses were useless – dangerous even – when I wore the lenses.

It all went to hell the first time I played guitar. Lo and not behold, I could not see the frets. I needed my drugstore readers to see where my fingers were landing, thereby defeating the original purpose for getting the lenses in the first place.

I now own: prescription glasses, prescription readers, prescription sunglasses, non-prescription readers, non-prescription sunglasses and a little box full of R and L contact lenses.

So I wear my glasses on stage and take them off when perspiration causes them to slide down my…er…rather insignificant…nose. Sometimes I see, sometimes I don’t.

But for a day or so after I scrub the floor, I never wear them. Better without glasses.

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