In the Land of the Blind…
When I was five or six my parents figured out I couldn’t see very well. Trips to local doctors and a national expert in New York ensued and I spent the next several years wearing varied combinations of eye patches, glasses and monocles. These measures, together with weeks and weeks and weeks of “eye exercises” – after surgery on my left eye – were all designed to give me stereoscopic vision. All of this was in vain. Later discoveries and studies showed after age three or so it’s too late for surgery, etc., to work.
Kids are cruel. As a first grader wandering around with a eye patch or monocle latched to my glasses (or both) I was, to put it mildly, the butt of my fellow student’s taunts and insults and mocking laughter. To this day if a gaggle of kids pass me on the street and I hear laughter I start sweating and revert to my seven year old self.
My monocle naturally wasn’t cool, no gold chain or anything. It was black and had some kind of cumbersome mechanism to fix it to the left lens of my glasses. I hated it. There was once some photos made of me with my monocle. I pray they are all lost or destroyed. I look so pitiful in the photos.
Of course in the past monocles, along with rakish mustaches and top hats, were cool, particularly in the 1920’s and before. Monocles, as a fashion statement, fell from from fashion decades ago along with pocket watches, top hats and fancy canes.
Thankfully, by fourth grade I was no longer burdened with eye patches or monocles, just regular glasses. Now, after cataract surgery, I only need glasses to read.
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