An occupational hazard of being a writer and reader

After 35 years of reading and nearly 20 years of writing, all of those words and letters have finally worn my eyes down. Or, as Michael Burstein might say to me: “So, it has come to this.”


Or if we are sticking to genre themes, here there be glasses.

I’d been noticing for some time that my vision (which had always been perfect) was not what it once was. When I moved to the metro D.C. area a decade ago, I could easily read the signs at the far end of metro stations. I had no trouble reading the tiny instructions on the back of medication bottles. Recently, I’ve had trouble doing both. So I went and saw an eye doctor. He dilated my eyes and repeated the phrase “one or two” over and over again quite a bit. In the end, he handed me a piece of paper that gave a lens grinder a formula for shaping a lens specific to my eyes. When I showed the prescription to Kelly she laughed. “That can hardly be called a prescription!” she claimed. I had it filled at BJs and yesterday, after work, I picked up my glasses and put them on for the first time.

The Little Man laughed at me, and has done so every time I have put them on since.

But I will say this: looking at a page of text with the glasses on is surprisingly more clear and crisp than looking at that same page without my new glasses, so I guess I’m sticking with them. And no, I won’t be getting contacts for two reasons. (1) I don’t need to wear these glasses all the time; only when I am reading or writing at length. (2) I will not put anything into my eyes and that is a perfectly reasonable excuse for not ever wearing contacts.

“Ah well,” I said to the eye doctor, “it’s an occupational hazard of being an avid reader and writer.”

“It’s an occupational hazard of turning forty,” he replied with a smirk.


  1. Okay, (sorry to spam your comments, Jamie). Apparently, it dislikes my website field. Weird.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.