Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Me 1.0

The point of intersection between perception and reality was re-routed to my house on Sunday - at least for a little while.  Sunday morning as the Missus and I were preparing to tackle our "to-do" list and I stood outside in the driveway waiting for Margaret, a friend of ours who lives around the corner from us passed by.  She apparently walks for exercise and we are on her regular route.  Truth be told, for the past several years most of our interaction with one another is what I like to call "conversation in motion".  It happens when one or both of us is in our car and passing by the other. 

Sunday morning marked the first time in quite a long time that she and I had seen each other face to face to chat.  I know not for certain what it is she does for a living - although based upon our conversation I suspect professional bullshitter is on her C.V. somewhere.  She complimented me on my appearance and told me that, "You look like a teenager."  I thanked her for the kind words (although I wonder just how many teenagers have gray hair on their head and a beard that is more salt than pepa at this point) and encouraged her to continue to walk past our home on a regular basis and suggested that perhaps a bullhorn or a megaphone (if neither proved to be too cumbersome) would be a nice addition to her walking gear. 

Truth be told, I feel much better these days than I did this time last year.  I am approximately thirty pounds lighter now than I was then.  While I am not going to blow away in the next stiff breeze, I think I am finally as tall as I am wide, which for a number of years I had not been able to accomplish.  My interest in maintaining some level of fitness has more to do with mortality than it does with vanity.  For years, my father told anyone who was within earshot that he was, "the perfect weight for someone nine feet tall."  He was approximately five and one half feet tall.  It was one of Dad's favorite lines.  It always brought a laugh.....right up until he dropped dead at age 57.  Then the humor contained within the passage seemed a bit more obscure.

Fresh off of being paid quite a nice and unexpected compliment, I commenced the "doing" of things on the "to do" list with the Missus.  Among the stops we made was at the local CVS.  While there I picked up something that reminded me that appearances are merely that.  Reality bites and sometimes with sufficient ferocity so as to leave a mark.

For an indeterminate period of time (let us say a few weeks just in the event that the Missus ever reads this), I have been having real difficulty reading small print and small type.  I do the grocery shopping in our house.  On more than one occasion recently I have found it impossible to make out impossible to make out the expiration date on a coupon. Reading the paper is more of a challenge than it used to be as well - sadly only from the perspective of visual acuity.  In terms of intellectual capacity, that challenge remains inviolate.

Thus while we were in CVS on Sunday we stopped by the display where they sell the magnifiers (a/k/a "non-prescription reading glasses") so that Captain Old Fogey could hustle himself up a pair.  I am constrained to point out that I only required the lowest magnification level (1.0).  Yet, having lived the first forty-four years and change of my life with nothing needed to assist my vision, the 1.0 magnification felt more like a 100.0 change. Worse yet, when I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror with them on, my already gynormous noggin looked big enough to have its own ground crew to help steer it safely down to Herald Square.

The knee and ankle joints that produce a sound akin to small arms fire every morning when my feet make contact with the floor and my ass gains separation from my bed I have grown accustomed to.  The pain - sometimes searing but usually no worse than throbbing in the lower part of left leg when I stand - let alone when I walk or run - is something that I have grown used to as well.  These things are well-established parts of my day to day.  Having never worn anything on my eyes save for my sunglasses, this latest annoyance feels as if it is the greatest one of all. 

I know that I am biased in this regard but I happen to think they look much better in their case than they do on. 

I wonder how much being in the case as opposed to being on my face limits their effectiveness.  The difference is probably negligible.


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