An Ode to My Spectacles


Here’s the story of origins, petrol stations, and Illusion.

I was somewhat grateful I couldn’t see the giant diagram of genitalia. I mean, I may have been 12, on the cusp of teenagehood, but it was also nine in the morning and even today, that’s still something I wouldn’t want to have thrust in my face at such an early hour. My brain has never… really acknowledged such a time. “Now class, what is this?” Nobody answered of course. Some because they needed glasses. “Alan?” she asked, pointing to the little dweeb crouching at the back of the classroom behind some taller kids. Drat, I thought she hadn’t seen me. I certainly couldn’t see her. “Erm… it looks like a giant blurry biscuit. Probably a KitKat.” Nope. It was a penis. I mean, it was then I knew I needed glasses. And probably a better biology teacher, come to think of it…

I still maintain it was a strange question to ask a little boy. I mean, if he didn’t know I’d be worried. After the teacher asked the question, I remember borrowing a pair of my friend’s glasses, a lot more ‘powerful’ than the pair I’d end up with. Really… really magnified that diagram. “Jesus Christ!” I screamed as I fell off my stool. My school had stools. Wooden stools. None of these modern, fancy moulded plastic doohickies. It was a bit outdated for 2002, I’d admit, but we also had the old timey projectors that constantly caught on fire and an English teacher that censored all the rude bits of literary masterpieces. Seriously, we got Shakespeare with bits crossed out. ‘Nay, but to live. In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stew’d in corruption, honeying and making BLANK.’ We often wondered what they were making in their enseamed beds. My bet was on muffins.

Here’s the thing, readers. And this may apply to any young teenage boys reading. You’re a nerd. You know you’re a nerd and you know you’re not the smart kind. You know people think you love classical music, and science fiction, and… I don’t know, chess. I don’t know what nerds do or like because I’m not one yet I have the unfortunate appearance of one. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with a nerdy appearance, but… I don’t know. It’s like looking like a horse and you’re allergic to horses. The last thing a horse looking person who’s allergic to horses would want is to be called ‘horse-face’, et al, right? You see where I’m coming from? What d’ya mean no? That was a perfectly coherent simile!

In case you’re wondering, I mentioned classical music because when I hit Year 10, I had a project in media studies where I had to design my own radio station and everyone in the class was busy with modern stations playing modern pop crap, so, being weird, I did a classical radio station and I got the only A in the class. You see, I wasn’t a nerd, but I looked and acted like one. It was called, ‘Illusion Radio,’ in case you’re wondering. I had a logo and a schedule and a tagline. Chill Out to Illusion. In retrospect, it was fairly obvious then that I was doomed forever to be a virgin…

And that was the thing. When you’re a teenager and you know you need glasses, you deny it. You’re tall and lanky. You’re pasty white and you’re famed as that kid who ate a pizza he made in food technology class that had a fly land on it and still ate it anyway because he was damn proud of that barely passable horror show. Not that… I… erm, did that, obviously. Ahem. You want to do the things that teenagers do. Drink! But I didn’t and still don’t like the taste of alcohol, unless it’s whisky when I have the flu. Never mind, what about… drugs! Nope. Admittedly, by the time I hit Year 9, I was the only person in my year who hadn’t dabbled in drugs or drink, but all was not lost. The road of being a teenager has many petrol stations, not just drink or drugs. In fact, avoiding them got me many plus points with the ladies. That mad Goth girl who liked me really liked I wasn’t part of that rabble. Then again, that other girl… oh, bad memories. Bad memories indeed.

Cigarettes! Everyone smokes in school, even the teachers, and our teachers in particular, who often bummed smokes off the kids. True story. No… I didn’t do that, either. It wasn’t a popular opinion for a teenager to have, but all those things were lame, even if they were then and are now a part of every teenager’s life. But not mine. All I had left was sex. The one petrol station on the road of being a teenager and for me, glasses were like that petrol station was blown up, right in front of my eyes. You know, like in that movie where that petrol station gets blown up.

It sounds stupid now, but I did lots of things as a teenager that was stupid. Like when the bus company installed bells on the buses and I was really excited about it and spent a good hour talking about this excitement to a girl I really liked. She never spoke to me again. Can’t think why. I was convinced my blurry vision and resulting spectacles would signal the end, that I wouldn’t be stopping for any petrol on that road. Which makes me wonder how I got down it without… needing… to, stop, for… petrol. I should’ve said ‘diner,’ shouldn’t I? Okay, re-read this entire post and replace ‘petrol station’ with ‘diner.’

I willed my vision to get better but each day the bus number got harder and harder to read. So I bit the bullet. “Mum, dad, I have something to tell you…” “It’s okay, son,” said mum. “We’ve been expecting this day for some time. It’s totally okay, son. We don’t care who you love…”

I didn’t find it funny. I headed to the specs shop and I’ve never looked back. Not that I could. Since then, my life has been abject misery, all because of those sodding glasses. If you’ve just found out you need glasses, and you’re debating whether to have the laser surgery instead, DO IT! Do it now! Having a stranger fire lasers into your eyeballs will be much more fun than the next 30 years wearing bloody spectacles, it really will be…

I have had to endure countless eye tests where people shine bright lights into my eyes that cause tremendously bad headaches. I get up to 30 migraines a year because I wear glasses and trust me, you new glasses wearers out there will get them too. They make me look like somebody has just run over the ugly duckling. They destroyed any hope I had of having a normal teenage life. And they constantly screw me over. I have to spend up to five hours a bloody week cleaning them when I could be doing important things, like… I don’t know, writing an angry letter to the bus company about the way the seats are arranged on their new buses. It’s a fucking travesty! It looks like an explosion in a seat factory!

There you are, crouched in front of a spotlight, angling the spectacles in each which way, from every conceivable angle and the like, spraying them with bloody liquids that never bloody work, trying each individual bloody cloth, pulling them out of your pocket like a bunch of clowns getting out of a tiny car. Some days, the green cloth works, but other days, oh no, it makes things much worse. Then other days, the black cloth is the saviour, and then other days… YOU LOSE THE BLOODY WILL TO LIVE!

“Just get the surgery then, just get the surgery then!” you whine. We’ve already established in recent weeks that fate absolutely hates me, and as such, I’m not allowed the surgery. Like, ever. So I’m stuck in perpetual misery thanks to this sodding shonky vision…

If I go could back and do it all again with just one change, just one, do you know what it would be? To have perfect vision. The amount of pretty girls who turned me down calling me all kinds of offensive glasses related insults was ridiculous. Honestly, if you’re reading this and you’re 12, and you’ve just discovered you need glasses, your life is completely over. The closest you’ll get to a woman for the rest of your life is the optician with the huge boobs, but other than that…

This is my spectacles origin story. It’s not a pretty one, but it’s one worth knowing. As a tale. Of caution. And doom. DOOOOM, I TELLS YA! Avoid them like the plague, I say, because the only fun they’ll ever give you is when you’re looking for a new pair and you get to try on lots of silly pairs, you know, just for the lark of seeing how you’ll look in a pair of fetching bright pink women’s glasses. And trust me on this kids, it’s as much fun at 26 as it was at 12.

Tee, he, he…

Macedonian author, Ljupka Cvetanova, once wrote: ‘Love at first sight? Let me just put on my glasses.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
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