You Just Can’t Trust “Louie”

I’m beginning to understand why the majority of Americans with medical insurance still don’t use it on a regular basis. It’s funny, ‘cuz I find myself dreading my annual visit to the optometrist almost as much as I dread my birthday. Today, pulling into the doctor’s parking lot, I was struck by how unprepared I was for bad news.

“How does it feel? It feels blind.”
– Bikini Kill “Feels Blind”

Okay, I understand that the song isn't about actual blindness, but so what? My love for absolute literalness bridges all boundaries. Even those of good taste.

Now, dear readers, I’ve been blind as a bat since the 7th grade. Without my glasses or contacts, I’m as close to legally blind as I care to get.

Fear not, for, if this point, made by my optometrist decades ago, is to be believed, being “legally blind” is nothing like wearing a blindfold while closing your eyes as hard as you can. It’s more akin to taking photos with your camera set on “fuzzy” mode; i.e. the function more commonly known as “manual focus.”

Realizing this point, I spent several minutes pondering what a truly “blind” future would look… er, be like.

And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colors all run dry
Yes, if I ever lose my eyes
Oh, if – I won’t have to cry no more

– Cat Stevens “Moon Shadow”

I mean, sure, Cat Stevens’ “Moon Shadow” seems to have found a possible upside to blindness. Sure, not having to “cry no more” does sound good. (Though I suspect losing your eyes does not mean you’ll also lose your tear-ducts. Cat Stevens might be a great songwriter, but a talented anatomist he was not.) I’d also be happy to “not have to work no more” as an earlier verse posits for losing your hands.

Imagine, a future of writing pointless blogs like these; each spiraling me further and further down the narcissistic pit I’m currently digging, only now without any hope of ever reversing its course.

And then it hit me.

Post-blindness, would I still be able to communicate these thoughts onto my site? I guess I could always record myself talking through my blogs, and forego the written word altogether. I mean, there has to be some option(s). I can’t be the first blind-man to enjoy writing. Just look at Helen Keller! A success, and she didn’t even have social media with which to status with her fans!

Then it hit me again. This blow heavier than the last.

What would I listen to? Since whenever I’ve dreamt of going blind, I’ve always pictured myself spending the remainder of my life locked in my living room. Seated on the floor, next to my CD racks, futilely trying to remember the order of all the albums. Forever tortured by my undying need to keep listening to Stevie Wonders’ “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered” against all the unseeing odds.

Again, this fate couldn’t be that tough. I mean, my CD’s are alphabetized already, and, as an English major, I know where “W” stands in relation to the other letters. So, barring any game-changing additions to the English language, I’m rather set without even resorting to putting braille tags on the CD spines.

(I’d wonder how Stevie handles this dilemma, but just look at the picture above. It looks as if Stevie has it covered.)

The good news: I’m (still) as legally blind now as I was last year, My eyes are healthy; a testament to my tight blood sugar control.

(Take that, everyone I’ve ever met who’ve claimed my diet is boring! My steady diet of oatmeal, tuna, soup, and cubans is miraculously adding years to my life!)

The bad news: the minor deviation between my eyes’ prescription, first identified last year, has increased. It turns out my left eye refuses to be a team player. Marching, instead, to the beat of its own drummer, it is now rapidly falling out of line altogether.

Not the worst news in the world, but also not the best. A reminder of yet another thing I can’t control. Just sort of guide/prompt into a desired direction.

Luckily this difference isn’t noticeable when my eyes are used together, as they usually are. My optometrist prefers to keep her prescriptions simple, as she clearly realizes that I’m secretly a moron.

Again, I’m beginning to understand why the majority of the Americans who have medical insurance choose not to use it.


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