It’s time for bifocals.
At least that’s what the eye doctor told me last week. My distance vision is still pretty good with my glasses on but my close vision is shot.
People have been giving me a hard time about it anyway.
“Why are you wearing your glasses like an old man?” I’ve been asked.
I’ve taken to putting my glasses down on the edge of my nose so I could look over the top and read. Most of the time I leave them off when I’m working. More than once I’ve found myself leaving work, getting outside, wondering what’s wrong with what I’m seeing, then realizing I left my glasses inside.
Actually, two years ago an eye doctor in Phoenix told me I needed bifocals. It was while I was driving a truck coast-to-coast. After delivering a load of whatever to Louisville, Ky., I tiredly plopped down on my bunk, sitting on my glasses. Far from any mall or anything I had to put them back together with paper clips and duct tape. I rode around like that for a few days until the dispatcher could route me back home to get them fixed.
“Your eyes aren’t as flexible as they used to be,” the doctor said.
There’s a lot of stuff on me that isn’t as flexible as it used to be, I thought.
“So you can’t focus as well.”
“What will I go through when I get bifocals?” I asked.
“It will take some getting used to; you’ll probably get headaches.”
I was able to make a decision at that moment.
“Not this time. I’ll wait.”
I already had headaches from my truck driving job, I didn’t need them compounded. I was team driving with someone who had just immigrated to the United States. Frank was from Trinidad in the Caribbean. I had no problems with Frank being from another country, but he was constantly trying to project the ways of Trinidad on the length and breadth of the United States, trying to get used to his new home, and arguing with me in the process.
“Turn here, Frank,” is how a typical conversation would start.
“Because it’s in the directions from the company.”
“How do you know this is the correct turn, though?”
“Directions say turn west on Interstate 70, the sign says ‘Interstate 70 west.’”
“But how do we know this is the correct turn?”
“Dude, just turn before we miss it.”
“OK, but I want you to tell me how you know these things.”
Frank questioned everything and would not be satisfied with the answer. While he drove and I slept we would frequently get off course. There were two times in the four months we team drove that I popped my head out of the bunk to find him driving on the left side of a two lane road like they do in Trinidad.
No, I didn’t need something like adjusting to bifocals to fuel bigger headaches.
Things are different now, though. I’m ready for bifocals.
Sitting in the doctor’s office in Clovis he showed me what it would be like to have a lens that let me read up close.
The tiny letters were crisp and clear.
It looks like I’ll be seeing a whole new world.
And I’ll be passing another mile marker on the highway of life.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: