Atlantic Assault

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It was a dark and stormy night on Wednesday. Also on Thursday, and on Friday, because we got hit with a torrent of rainy days. It was, to quote the sensationalized hyperbole of, an Atlantic Assault.

Because the winds were strong and the water was wet, I deigned to put on a coat for the first time this season. Bear in mind that, for the three years I’ve lived in Wilhelmsplatz, I’ve never turned on the heat for myself. I’ll grudgingly poke at the thermostat to appease guests, but only if their lips are actively blue. I have a magnificent tolerance for the cold, what can I say.

Donning a coat is, then, a relatively infrequent activity for me, one I’m not wild about. I have to resign myself to wearing the cumbersome, restrictive, bulky garment that gets between me and my precious cold weather.

The initial coat-donning of the winter season, however, is a treat. This is because I will inevitably find money in a pocket, money I’d tucked away back in the spring and consequently forgotten about. This happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to you, because it must. It is an inalienable human right. More than that: it is a function of the natural order of the universe, like autumn following spring, or one sock vanishing every time you do the laundry.

This year I did not find any money in my pocket. Instead I found a bit of crumpled tin foil. A tiny bit of crumpled tin foil.

Once again I have upset the space-time continuum. I apologize. This offense against nature may precipitate the end of the world (though it hasn’t happened yet), and also I don’t have any spare change.

Except that I do. On Friday I found a five dollar bill in my jeans. I was ecstatic. Thing was, I could have only placed the money there the week prior. Within a few days I’d completely forgotten about it. I am losing my memory.

I am also losing my eyesight, which is significantly scarier than losing my memory, or at least I assume so. Recall from the first paragraph, please, that we had rainy weather recently. A few times during this Atlantic Assault I found myself needing to drive at night. This turned out to be a very scary proposition, because I couldn’t exactly see.

For a while I’ve been noticing that I can’t see too well at night.

Er. Let me rephease. For a while, call it the last twenty years or so, I’ve been noticing that I can’t see too well, period. This is why I wear glasses.

But in the past coupla years it’s been getting worse. The killer headaches I had been getting are mercifully rare these days, because the eye doctor softened the strength of my lenses, but the cost is that my vision suffers generally, and at night particularly. For instance, when I’m driving at night, I can’t really judge distance. (“Am I about to plow into the tail-lights in front of me, or are they a quarter-mile away?”). And I’m finding that I have issues with little details such as seeing the lines on the road, or seeing the road whatsoever, if you want to get specific about it.

I’ll mention this next time I visit the eye doctor, obviously, but I’m not sure what she can do. We tried the trifocals route. They were a smashing failure. (That I paid for them out-of-pocket does not make matters any better.) She did at one point suggest eye therapy, which makes me envision lying on a couch and telling the doctor how my eyes feel about my mother, but the nearest eye therapist is about two hours away, and I’d have to make that four-hour roundtrip drive twice each week, and it isn’t covered by my insurance, so I don’t suppose I’ll be talking to any eye therapists anytime soon.

So anyway, the doctor could make my prescription stronger, which would make the headaches start again—unless, perhaps, I were able to stop looking at computer screens, which would be fine except then I’d be unemployed. Or we could keep my prescription weaker, except this whole night-driving business is going to be difficult to give up, especially for things like, say, driving home from work. I suppose I could stop going to work but then I’d be unemployed.

But since I’ve gone and tampered with the fabric of reality the whole world’s probably going to explode any moment now, so no sense worrying about any of this anyway.


4 responses »

  1. I have a snazzy eyeglass chain (a-la-stereotypical-librarians) that you can borrow, to keep your glasses from getting lost while you’re working at a computer, if you’d like to try that route. I think I’ve seen some snazzy ones on as well. It’s a pain in the ass to take them off and put them back on 800 times a day, but, hey… they’re shiny! :DI, too, cannot see for diddly at night while driving. I don’t think I could get home sometimes if I didn’t "know" the roads from driving them over and over during daytime in the first place.Have you ever tried contacts? I remember the first time I drove at night after getting contacts. It was pretty much a "HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWESOME" experience. ;D Lights still do that annoying starlight reflective beam thing, but not as drastic as with glasses. The best part of driving with contacts over glasses is being able to see with your entire eyeball and not just out of the lenses of glasses. Nothing like having a blind spot when driving, and adding more blind spots from not being able to use your peripherals!And finally, if your eyes are THAT bad, you might consider laser surgery. My optometrist keeps suggesting it to me and I’m like, nothxu, I can still see without glasses to be able to find my glasses. My mom had it done and went from wearing glasses of thick lens doom, to only needing reading glasses, so that inspires a bit of trust in the process in me.Oh, wait, this is a comment, not an email. So, I will comment: Seeing an eye therapist who’s a two-hour drive away seems akin to having physical therapy to learn to walk again and having to walk your ass four miles home afterward. :/

  2. J, I second the motion for PRK or other laser corrective procedure. Both my mom and dad had this; my Mom went from trifocals to light reading glasses. My dad went from heavy glasses to none. Also, make sure you get checked for cataracts – they are a major problem with night blindness.Cheaper solution – 1 set for driving at the high strength prescription, 1 set for everything else?

  3. eleemosenary arcihvist

    From ONE who knows whereof thou speakest! Get your Viscous backed retinal peepers to an Opthamologist,like Yesterday,Roger? Pain in the butt perhaps, but DO it. Hellfire,kid they CAN do marvels these days with lasik and laser or pop em in lenses that even allow you to change eye color to match your outfit; ALL bipedal aging drivers exhibit some if not all the symptoms you describe,so take it to the Doc. There’s a guy called Anthony DeRosa with offices here in the Burg & in Newport News. His people are GOOD say Aye,Aye to good vision not ai,ai,ai! was that sombody’s beloved black cat I just squished tgb/EAps happy thanksgiving long live the Turkey …

  4. eleemosenary arcihvist

    Greetings from the northern province of Balmawr up heah in Maryland. We have snow.So? Na ja, it’s purty. Also all the festively festooned homes at 34th St just round the corner from Johns-Hopkins.Stay warm, drive carefully;.Get thee to an eye Doc. out;see ya…tgb/EA


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