Thenadays, They Were the Days


Here’s the story of dirty spectacles, logic, and the Moon prize.

You might wonder how someone could end up with a glove said person is wearing stuck in a glasses case in the middle of a violent storm, with no hands available to free it. Well, here’s the thing. My glasses take up… many, many hours of my precious time each week trying to clean and, well, I’m a busy man, I don’t have time for that shit. And rain, well, ‘tis my arch nemesis. That adds on a good few hours to my cleaning time. No idea why. Rain hates me. So I make a conscious effort not to wear my glasses when it’s raining. There is only one problem with this otherwise quite frankly brilliant plan of mine. I cannot see without them. At all. Nowadays, I weigh up the pros and cons of going without my glasses, such as asking myself the questions, ‘How many roads do I have to cross?’, ‘What is the likelihood of being run over?’, things like that. I say nowadays. I was a wee lad, once. Thenadays, I remember once walking home during a vicious storm. The rain was horizontal and relentless. So I decided on not wearing my glasses for my walk home from school. It perhaps goes without saying that I nearly fell down a huge hole some workmen had dug…

This incident didn’t deter me and it’s a still a practise I practise regularly. Because it rains a lot. It’s a cliché but it’s true. Which would make it not a cliché but a fact. Let me start this paragraph again. Because it rains a lot. Such is a fact. Period. I think I handled that well.

Because I’m a logical and organised soul, I only really need not wear my glasses on three occasions when it’s raining. Going to church, going to work, coming home from work. Church is a piece of piss. A group of piss. A chunk of… what do you call a collective of piss? You know… it’s, it’s not that important. I get in the car with mum and dad, mum drops off dad and me outside the cathedral. After church, I just hold on to mum for dear life. It’s not the best practise in life considering she is 65 and her eyesight aint so good, but it’s still preferable to yet another day cleaning my spectacles.

Going to work is a bit of a trickier prospect. I can get to the bus stop okay because it’s not too far from my home, but the walk from the bus stop in town to where I work is a good 20 minutes and, as I found out this week, because I decided to count them, involves me walking over 20 blocks. Which, admittedly, because this is Britain, are quite small, but still involves a good 20 minute brisk walk. Always brisk. My favourite type of walking. I have one of those. It’s why I’m so popular and don’t at all spend my weekends eating ice cream out of a bucket with a ladle…

Sure, you might say that this involves 20 or so roads to cross, and that is a true fact. But only two of them are major roads and they only have a speed limit of 40 miles per hour. I mean, getting hit by a car going at that speed probably wouldn’t hurt too much. And I’ll say it again, it’s still preferable to spending 50 BLOODY HOURS A WEEK CLEANING BLOODY GLASSES! “Do you want to go out to the cinema tonight, Ally?” “Oh, shucks, I’d sure love to, but, oh golly, I can’t, for you see, my glasses are ruining my entire life.” Or, “Do you want to go out to the cinema tonight, Ally?” “Oh, shucks, I’d sure love to, but, oh golly, I can’t, for you see, I have 27 broken bones.” I’d take Option 2 every day of the week. I mean, I don’t have a death wish, but being dead would certainly be preferable to… oh, you’re ahead of me? Good.

The first road isn’t too bad. It has a set of traffic lights that, yes, don’t beep like most, but I’m sufficiently sighted enough to be able to see the cars stopping on both sides. What I often do when I’m not wearing them is go off the car headlights, because it’s often dark and gloomy when it’s raining and therefore, cars always have their headlights on. I can see them, albeit extremely blurry. If they’re very small, I’ll cross the road. However, this doesn’t work on the second major road I must cross.

The problem with that road, you see, is that cars are parked down both sides and there’s no crossing, so really, I just say a little prayer and hope the cars heading for me have decent brakes. Luckily, I haven’t been run over yet. Yet being the operative word, one assumes.

Now, going home from work without my glasses on is an entirely different kettle of fish. Although the route is only a minute, as I get a different bus home from a different, much closer stop, I now can’t see the bus number. On the morning, it’s fine. I live in an area that’s only serviced by one bus, so even if I can’t see it, I know what it is. But on the night, I get the bus at a stop serviced by no fewer than six different buses. I know! What a crisis! So this is what I do…

I put my glasses back on after I’ve arrived at the bus shelter, hoping the shelter will provide enough protection from the rain so I don’t get my glasses wet. When the bus does arrive, there’s that infamous heart in mouth moment, between leaving the shelter and boarding the bus, when, for a moment, you’re exposed. You can feel your heart thumping. The rain is beating down. The buses doors are open. You can’t leap into the bus like a gazelle because people will think you’re mad, mad as a… mad thing! You put your head down, pull your hood as far over your face as you can and you run. Run like a… runny thing. And I made it, baby. I made it good. Not a drop of rain. It’s not an understatement to say that it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I’ve lived a very sheltered life, in case you’re wondering.

Of course, it didn’t go entirely to plan. I had gloves on so I had to take one off so I could open the glasses case once I got to the bus shelter. Sadly, after taking my glasses off, somehow my right glove, which I was still wearing, became stuck in the glasses case, which shut with my glove fingers trapped inside. So there I was, holding on to my glasses for dear life, trying desperately not to get them wet, with my right hand flailing around trying to free the fingers of the glove that was on it that were trapped in the case. I couldn’t even do anything with my glasses because how the hell are you supposed to put them on with only one bloody hand! To say I looked like a total jackass is underselling it, somewhat.

I can only imagine how mad the fellow passengers felt I was when, after 30 minutes on the bus, I neared my stop, so I took my glasses off again. “He’s been wearing those glasses the entire journey, why the heck is he taking them off?” 50 hours a week! I didn’t have time to explain the situation to them, so I just kept quiet and got off the bus as discretely as I could. I do suspect that some of them had figured out why I did it, but I fear none of them would be able to understand the sanity behind my perfectly sound logic.

What? Look, you may judge and poke fun at me, but I hate wearing glasses. I hate how much of my life I’ve had to give up for them. I hate how much they’ve destroyed any hope I had of a normal life. I’d hate their very soul if they had one, which they don’t because they are heartless and inhuman monsters. And because they’re glasses. Not people. I got home without a speck of water getting on them, and some may say that’s not worth the risk. I heartily disagree. So go ahead and laugh at me but know this: it was a victory. A moment of unadulterated joy and happiness I can only compare to winning the Moon…

American author and filker, Seanan McGuire (b. 1978), once wrote: ‘”Shaun, get your sister her glasses. She looks naked without them. It’s creeping me out.”’

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the ‘Archives’ page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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