A couple of weeks ago, I took off my glasses and they snapped in half.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised; I’ve worn that same pair since December 2005, so it was bound to happen eventually. Jef soldered them back together again, which lasted for another week before they broke again.

I do need to get new glasses.

But in the meantime, since I’m lucky enough that I don’t normally need to drive anywhere myself, I’ve been going without. Sometimes it gets awkward. At work, I can’t read the clock from across the room. Movie subtitles have proven impossible. But it’s also been a neat kind of experience.

During the four hours up I-71 from Cincinnati to Cleveland, I couldn’t compulsively count the miles. I couldn’t read the signs. And my nosy people-watching habits have died back because I can’t actually see anything interesting.

It’s forced me to get closer to things. I can see the faces of the people I actually approach in conversation, but not those I just imagine talking with. I can see the person whose body I am massaging, but not the distracting elements of the room. Doing stretches during the beginning of class, I am unable to compare myself to the others, who appear to me as amorphous blobs in royal blue scrubs.

I’m usually a data junkie. I need to know exactly what is going on around me at all times, in order to feel in control. My spec-less period has been an interesting detox from information addiction. I still need new ones (I will need to drive again, at some point), but it’s also nice to know that I can go without.

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