I went for my yearly eye check-up today. You might not know that I have terrible vision. It all started in fourth grade when I was seated near the back of the glass, and was frequently seen squinting at the board. When I got my first pair of glasses, I couldn't believe how clearly normal people saw the world. The sharp edges were hyper-real, like I was living in the Matrix all of the sudden.
In eighth grade I switch to daily-wear contacts. Back then disposables hadn't yet been invented. And so I've never changed. I think I'm single-handedly keeping the daily-wear contact industry in business ... if indeed one pair a year is enough to keep them in business.
I've never forgotten one particular eye exam when I was in high school. I read the chart with my right eye; "20/100," announced the doctor, making a notation on the chart. I tried to read the chart with my left eye, but couldn't see any of the letters. The doctor held up three fingers in the stream of light, and I gave the right number. "Counted fingers," said the doctor, writing on the chart.
For years I boasted about how bad my eyes were by telling that story. But now I wonder if it ever happened that way. I've gotten many eye exams since then, and not once has an optometrist ever resorted to holding up fingers. My eyes are still bad -- really bad -- but maybe they're not as legendarily bad as I've always believed.