2020 vision

January 9, 2020

They may seem like innocent baby blues, but they can see through concrete

I recently got a new eyeglass prescription. Two things had happened to my eyeballs. All of a sudden, I needed reading glasses, first for ingredient labels and the small print on prescription bottles, and then for reading regular text. The second thing was that I could see farther better without my previous near-sighted correction than with it. Thinking this trend might be leading to x-ray vision, I put off a visit to the optometrist for awhile. When I finally made the appointment, the doctor casually told me that it was normal for vision to flip from near-sighted to far-sighted, “especially as we age.” My dream of x-ray vision in time for the summer beach season was dashed upon an horizon I could now see more clearly, even without glasses.

It could be I’m thinking how big a Hershey bar was when I was a kid…

I bring up the subject of eyes, only because over the last year, I’ve come to “see” that Carol doesn’t have eyes so much as a pair of extremely efficient and profoundly panoramic surveillance cameras. She misses nothing, from indiscreet scratchings, to inept uses of utensils or tools, inadvertent and minor trips, stumbles or wobbles, socks with tiny holes, shirts with even tinier stains and inside out skivvies. Those baby blues capture it all with prosecutorial precision.

….and here at happy hour suddenly remembering how big a Hershey bar was when I was a kid

In other avenues of our life together, if Carol is not the first person to see me lost in thought, but with my lips moving, she’s the first to call me out on it, and inquire who it is I’m interlocuting with, and in such a stentorian manner. This I find to be the threshold of my inner dimensional world that I had hoped to conceal from prying eyes, but apparently not from prying eyes equipped with miltary strength night vision lenses. (If it turns out she’s the one with x-ray vision, my goose is totally cooked.)

Most times I can escape discovery by telling Carol that it’s nothing, really. I can get away with it when she’s caught me staring blankly into space. But when it’s clear I’m having it out with some figment of my imagination, she tends to want to be part of the conversation. The thing is, most of the time it’s silly stuff bordering on the infantile (and once in a while sneaking over that border). Depending on the season, I might be coaching Drew Brees on a critical interception the previous week, or criticizing Javey Baez for striking out with the bases loaded the previous season. Or maybe just counseling Homer Simpson to go easier on himself. (Although, really, I think that’s just me talking to me.)

The only time my mind does not wander aimlessly: waiting for a train

But it’s the times that I’m confronting my nemeses from politics and my personal life that I am most loathe to divulge. It’s simply my way of blowing off steam and venting without the stigma of having to take it back, apologize, experience remorse or have to defend myself against a disturbing the peace charge. There hasn’t been an instance, where, following one of these internal outbursts of righteous indignation or “airing of grievances,” even when it’s not Festivus that I’m riddled with guilt and humiliation for having actually risked such an exchange in real life. It’s a gift, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have to apologize profusely to anyone or perform community service.

But I don’t like to admit to having those confrontations, even in my make-believe world. “I’m just telling Homer to encourage Lisa’s individuality and show more tough love to Bart,” I will tell Carol, which she doesn’t believe for a minute, because she’s no doubt already reviewed the surveillance tape of my subconscious, which her eyes can evidently penetrate as well.

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