Speaking Confidentially: 8 July 1997

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Stop Whining!

After tobacco, clove, and marijuana smoke Friday night, open air or not, my eyes felt too sore Saturday for my contact lenses. They felt better on Sunday but on Monday, I nixed the idea again and went to the "doctor." A Kaiser opthamologist diagnosed GPC, Giant Papillar[something] Conjunctivitis, possibly only irritation from pollen or less possibly indicative of a longer-term problem foreseeing the end of my contact lens wearing life. Certainly no lenses for the rest of July at least. A bike helmet with glasses? is this possible? Denver without sunglasses? is this possible? Me possibly allergic to anything? is this possible?

Allergies have always seemed so wimpy to me. I have, surprise surprise, developed a slight modicum of sympathy for those so afflicted, but still something niggles at the back of my mind that these bodies should learn that their environment is not hostile so get over it! The message is stronger and louder and much more vituperative when the body concerned is mine.

So I should ride, using one of RDC's Croakies. No peripheral vision. No sunglasses. Not that sunglasses protected my peripheral vision from glare anyway. So stop whining! There are plenty of people who cannot afford an opthamologist or an optometrist or glasses, let alone contact lenses. So stop whining!

Glasses make me nervous though. I have never learned that my body is in fact as wide as my shoulders, not just as wide as my eyes, so I tend to run into walls. Which makes me afraid I'll break my glasses and send splintered lens fragments into my eyes. And almost twelve years after I got them, still I appreciate how much I love them--after only six years of glasses. Besides that I've never liked team sports more complex than Duck Duck Goose, one reason I was less active after sixth grade was that I had the blasted contraption on my face. My mother instilled in me a dire fear of breaking them, which is only partly an excuse for my continued non-athleticism. I bicycled a lot, sure, but in high school wasn't so blind that I needed my glasses on my well-known small-town circuit. I don't take the convenience of lenses for granted at all, and the yearly fundage is a bargain considering the constant, higher quality of life it buys.

D'you realize you have to tilt your head down to see your plate when you're wearing glasses, but with lenses you just look down? A UC professor opined one day, inspired by what I don't know, that lenses were the silliest most artificial vanity. The man wore glasses himself yet couldn't see the benefits of, say, peripheral vision, no winter lens-fogging, no frame freezing to your face, clear vision under ski or scuba goggles without custom made lenses, nothing to slide off your nose in the sweat or in a rapid movement. Ha. In one two-week period, I bought contact lenses, had my braces off (and my lying stupid dyslexic orthodontist might be another tangent), was inducted into the National Honor Society, and got my driver's license. I was almost 18, and these things came way later than average but all the more cherished because I did wait. And no more than I would agree to having my mouth wired again, would I agree to wearing glasses long term again.

Did I stop whining yet? I don't think I have.


As far as I know, this sadist is still in operation. For one thing he can't tell left from right, and consequently almost fucked up my jaw worse than it was before my mother sicced him on me. This dyslexia might not be common to all orthodontists, but in my experience a few things are common to all: they lie and are incompetent and if they perpetrated on the small percentage of their clientele that are legally adult the travesties they perpetrate on the 8-18 year-old majority, they'd be shut down en masse.

Now, lisa, what happened that's good today?

RDC saw (and admitted to reading) in the grocery aisle a People magazine whose cover story was about companion animals who have saved their humans, including an African Grey (which is what caught his eye) who alerted its Louisiana family that there was an alligator in the house. A dog just barks. An African Grey can name the danger. Not that I expect Blake to get so intelligent.

Plus RDC went grocery-shopping and made tortellini with spinach and garlic for supper, yum yum.

Plus I expect to goad us into a skeam run tonight.

Just now when RDC went outside to read, Blake said, "You're a good boy buddy" as he left the house. Blake is so clever. This is part of what we say to him when we leave: "You're a good boy, Blake [or buddy], be a good boy. Good-bye." Yes, he's been saying "You're a good boy, buddy" for a while now, but now he says it in a learned context. Up to now when one of us would leave, he would only chirp "wheet wheet," which served him as both greeting and farewell.

And now Blake is sitting next to me on the chair, by my left foot, up on his right foot, napping. A peaceful cockatiel is excellent company.

Because I thought I was taking a breather from recorded books for the summer while I ride to work, I didn't have one to listen to on the bus today. So I continued reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and didn't get a headache on the way in and not until halfway through the way home.

I vacuumed and did the week's laundry yesterday so the house is relatively respectable.


Duck Duck Goose

In the summer of 1993, my Ecofeminism class met outside its building, under the broad and gnarled willow tree by Mirror Lake. There we sat, discussing whatever, when we were joined by a dozen mallards and mallard skcudlings, who waddled up from the grimy water in a Make Way for Ducklings parade, encircled us in two or three revolutions, and then suddenly collapsed and tucked their heads under their wings. They napped there until the end of class, when my classmates still didn't want to play Duck Duck Goose with these ducks. Maybe because that would make them the Geese by default.

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Last modified 6 July 1997

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