The Perils and Foibles of Being Simultaneously Nearsighted and Farsighted
Aging in an Age of Aging
Writing Subtitles Even When the Thesaurus Tool is Malfunctioning
“Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again!” – Quincy Magoo
“I Can’t See Nobody
No, I Can’t See Nobody” – The Bee Gees
Despite the best efforts and intents of resveratrol, CoQ-10, fish Oil, flavonoids, beta-carotene or any other of the seemingly infinite, and completely unregulated, anti-oxidants and natural supplements we devour desperately - individual Ponce De Leons all, in a quixotic quest for our personal fountains of youth – each and every one of us, mortal to our very core, will inevitably succumb to nature, aging and maturity and their inescapable consequences (Benjamin Button – a curious case, Joan Rivers’ eyelids, and the GOP policy towards women’s health issues aside.) As I ascend through the furtively fleet passage of time, I fear that the illustration of Mr. Magoo, presented here, represents a fairly accurate depiction of the current and future states of nycityman - and not only in appearance and stature, but even more so in terms of awareness, alertness and overall general behaviors. I’ve become as myopic as Michele Bachmann’s matchmaker, as Donald Trump’s hairstylist, or as Cardinal Timothy Dolan at the annual gay rights parade.
Being nearsighted is far from a new development, gold aviator frames with brown-hued, gradient lenses (scoff if you wish, but it was the era, they were the trendiest of all spectacles and coordinated brilliantly with the quiana shirts and platform shoes – we were stayin’ alive) were indispensable accoutrements beginning in high school. My ocular acuity decreased as persistently and precipitously as an abstinence pledge in Wasilla, Alaska, and if not for the astonishing advances in lens technology, I’d be sporting glasses that look like 19thcentury stereoscopes. But, alas now, thanks to the generosity, gifts and good graces of Father Time (whom I think of more as a neglectful, if not abusive, step-father) I am also farsighted, and that condition too is deteriorating as rapidly as a Fox News viewer’s useful grey matter. Ponder the reality – if one is farsighted, and one is also nearsighted, what category of “sighted” remains? Through laborious and ceaseless scientific study and inquiry (lying in bed, sans corrective lenses, periodical and ruler in hand) I recently ascertained that the area I can see clearly, the entire distance in which I can discern the visual variation between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, totals 5 inches! From about 12 inches to 17 inches away from my eyes, words and objects are distinct and distinguishable - before 12 inches and beyond 17 inches, my sense of being, life, humanity and events is perceived through the same camera filter that was used to shoot Doris Day on the old television series that bared her name. When prepping for slumber, and therefore lens-less, the cloudy, amorphous, shapeless blob lurching toward me in the gloom of darkness could be anyone from, optimistically - winsome, Welsh warbler, Katherine Jenkins (temporarily replacing Barbara Eden as the current, comic, childish crush reference) to, more pessimistically, renowned cinema villain, Kane Hodder, cleaver at the ready.
Actually experiencing life as a Mr. Magoo is not minutely as amusing in reality as it is in the animated realm. For example, driving into a fire hydrant has very little actual comic value, even if a chicken inexplicably appears upon the scene and is thrown into the air upon contact. Similarly, should you find yourself driving off of a cliff your vehicle will not defy gravity and stay aloft in the air as you register a triple take to camera before plummeting. And, it’s best if we spare the details of the actual aftermath of an anvil dropping on a head. Needless to say the body does not transform into a whimsical accordion.
Once upon a time I could see. I was a sharp-eyed, alert, hormone-driven youngster who could spot VPL and muffin tops and most urgently, adam’s apples on people whom in every other aspect appeared wonderfully womanly, from a football field away. I could see near and far, hither and yon, fore and aft, and even Shields and Yarnell. I could see fire I could see rain. But now, I have to give serious, thoughtful and even lengthy deliberations to concerns like – if I were to be in a plane crash, would it better if I were wearing my contact lenses or my glasses? I’m still debating that.
The Bee Gees, and “I Can’t See Nobody”