VISION IMPAIRED

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By John Galea

Bright rays of sunlight pierce through the crack in the blinds of my bedroom window, waking me gently from my state of sleep. It’s a sunny day and I can tell it’s going to be just like any other. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling until my alarm goes off, breaking me out of my trance. It’s time to get up and get ready for another day of school.

I walk out the front door and let it swing shut, as I’m leaving Mum shouts out “LOVE YOU, DO YOUR BEST TODAY!” so loudly that it passes through the door as if it weren’t even there. The long, arduous walk to school begins, I think as I take my first few steps away from the house. THUD! Suddenly I’m knocked down by the neighbours’ Irish Wolfhound, a dog so big I could have used it as a mode of transport to get me to school. All I can see now is a pink whirlwind of canine drool washing my face and not leaving an inch of it untouched. I use what strength I have to push the gigantic hound off me and rise to my feet.

When I do I realise that the world has become a blur of shapes and colours, the dog, who goes by the name of Scotty, has knocked off my glasses during the tongue lashing. I shout at Scotty to go home and he gallops off back to where he came from, and the search for my glasses begins. I use what vision I have to search around me, feeling the ground as I go until I feel the shape of my glasses – what a relief! I put them back on and my vision is somehow worse than before, I guess glasses weren’t made to survive the gaping jaws of an Irish Wolfhound. No need to tell mum about this I’ll just have to get some new glasses before school starts.

Continuing my walk to school I pass through the main street full of shops, there should be somewhere I can get a new pair of glasses so that I don’t have to squint all day just to see where I’m going. It’s not long before I notice a new optometrist and figure it’s as good a place as any so I go inside where I am greeted by the friendly assistant. “Will be with you in just a minute” she says to me with a smile. While I wait I take a quick look around at my blurry surroundings, It’s hard to see clearly but from what I can see this is not your average optometrist. The glasses all look like they’re fashioned from the future and I bet they have a hefty price tag from the future too. “So how can I help you” the assistant asks, inviting me over to her, I hold out my hand and show her what’s left of my glasses.  The look on her face says it all “oh dear, we’re going to have to get you a new pair of those. Just come this way”.

“Yet another young customer I see.” A voice says from the next room.

The assistant looks at the man who interrupted her. “Yes, this boy needs a new pair of glasses.”

“Well then, I know exactly what he would want, all of my younger customers want the latest pair of THESE glasses.” The man, who I assume is the optometrist, holds up a pair of glasses unlike anything I have seen. White, sleek frames caress glass lenses that appeared to change colour but I assumed that it only looked that way because of my poor vision.

“Try them on.” The optometrist insists so I take them from him. I can’t believe it, everything is so clear now and it is such a relief to be able to see again, “How much?” I ask. “I tell you what, you take those glasses, leave your old ones here and we’ll sort out payment with your parents later. If you’re not satisfied with those glasses by the end of the day, just bring them back and I’ll give you a new pair of your old ones.” The glasses look great and I’ve never been able to see things so clearly so I’m not going to argue. I leave the shop able to see better than ever before and I continue on my way to school.

When I get to school I notice something strange about the way everyone looks. They all look somewhat better than they normally do, it’s like I’m looking at their selfies after they’ve used about three different filters to improve the way they look. Then I remember the way the glass of my new glasses seemed to change colour when the optometrist held them up in the light. Could that be the reason why everyone has a new and improved look, are these some sort of literal rose coloured glasses that gives everyone instant cosmetic surgery to make them look more attractive? This is too weird but I can’t take them off or I won’t be able to see anything, I guess I’m just going to have to look at the equivalent of everyone’s online profiles all day.

The bell rings and my day of seeing everyone the way they probably wished they looked comes to an end. Now I don’t know what to do, do I keep these glasses and see everything for the better or do I get a new pair of my old, normal glasses and see everything for what it is? I think about this question and what my day of seeing things new and improved was like as I walk back to the optometrist on the main street. When I arrive I walk up to the counter, look at who I’m sure must be the same assistant from earlier today. She looks right back at me and says “So, what do you think? Which would you prefer?”

I am standing still not saying a word, unsure of how to answer that question. Which view did I prefer? “Here, take a look at how good you look in your new glasses, maybe that will help you decide.” The assistant holds up a mirror right in front of my face and I see my reflection for the first time today. I had spent all day focusing so much on how everyone else looked that I never even took a moment to look at myself. To my surprise I look exactly the same, no filter and no improved looks. It’s at that moment that I know what to do. I look at a brand new pair of my old glasses and the assistant looks at me with a smile.

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