Chimes Opinions - Contact Time

Contact Time
Opinions Article - 09/08/09

At some point in history a man, most likely inspired by the Three Stooges, realized that the best method to correct ones vision would be to repeatedly poke something into their own eyes. That realization led to the invention of contact lenses, an item that has since garnered universal recognition as a viable alternative to the constant glasses-breaking us book worms all so frequently had to endure at the hands of angered biker gangs, as well as provided the perfect excuse to cry in public. After numerous encounters with bullies at college and frequent emotional breakdowns due to sudden flashbacks of a previous episode of Greys Anatomy, I finally decided that a product such as this was meant for me.

My only previous encounter with contacts was four years ago, when I thought my entrance into college would benefit from the lack of a broken object affixed in front of my eyes by scotch tape and carpenters glue. A wrench was thrown into my plans however when I realized that contacts required prodding fingers into one of the top three places on my body where I desperately didn’t want fingers to prod: my eyes.

As cool as having lazers shot into my eyes sounds, I just couldn’t go for surgery either. I settled on a pair of frames which I would later repeatedly lose until finally sitting on them.

Two weeks ago I decided it was time to try again. Again I endured the same practical joke the optometrist pulled on me at my last three visits by sitting in a dark quiet room until having a powerful jet of air shot directly into my face at the most unexpected moment. It appears my doctor makes for a tough audience, as in my surprise the empty coconut thud, heard as my head banged against the medical instruments, refused to elicit the slightest laugh. It’s a sick world we live in.

With Beth at my side I took my seat, placed the glistening lense on my finger, and raised it to my eye.

Thirty minutes later the situation had not changed. It appeared that as my finger approached my face, my eyelid would close at equal speed. All those years of listening to my mothers words of not sticking various objects into various body parts had finally, and surprisingly, sunk in. Although when I was six I could jam Play-Dough anywhere I wanted, I just couldn’t do it now.

As I repeatedly tried again and again, a thirteen year old girl taking the same test approached the counter, poked both her eyes twice, and apparently completed the same task I was attempting to finish in a matter of seconds.

The patience of the doctors was beginning to waiver. If I was going to do this I was going to have to overcome the disturbing memory of the time my brother convinced me there were crystals inside of toothpaste and squeezed an entire bottle in my eye. A breakthrough arrived when I realized I could force my eyelids open if I jammed my fingernails deep into them.

“Great job,” the doctor told me. “Now take them out.”

Looking back into the mirror and staring at my red eyes, I fully realized what a terrible situation I had placed myself into.

As they began to close the metal gates and shut off the lights I realized that once again I had lost the battle to contacts. The tears in my eyes were no longer merely from the irritation of constant poking, but from the recognition of my own defeat. I had failed, and now I had to face the humiliation of having my face grabbed by the doctor and the contacts removed by someone else’s hand.

I drove Beth home in silence. Although it’s pretty often that I embarrass myself, this was one of those special occasions where I also got to be sent away in a state of near blindness. She took my hand, and turning her way I realized how lucky I was to not only be near-sighted, but to be close enough to see her.

I returned the next day to face my arch-nemesis, and I returned victorious.

Now I just have to do it every morning...

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