It happened so slowly, I didn’t see it coming.First there were the projector incidents at work. On several occasions during presentations, I walked to the front of the room and–rudely I now realize–adjusted the focus of the digital projector without asking permission. People at the front must not realize the image was fuzzy, I thought.
Then, while boating among rafts of winter ducks on the Columbia, it occurred to me that although I could make out the basic shapes of different guilds of birds, I couldn’t see any individual well enough to recognize the species. This was odd. Usually I can identify them instantly.
The final straw came a few weeks later, on a neighborhood sidewalk, when I spotted a biker approaching from a distance. I noticed the rider’s posture and the light mounted low on the bike frame (a sure sign of a friend with a generator-powered light). Hoping to learn the frame’s maker, I kept staring, glancing up only when when the rider finally came into focus.
“Oh, hi Vince,” I stammered. “How’s it going?”
“Pretty good,” my friend remarked, “Did you forget your glasses or something?”
That’s when I realized that these eyeballs of mine, the ones I’ve always been unjustifiably proud of, were no longer quite so good at seeing things far away.
Even after I got my first pair of glasses a few weeks later, I was still in denial. Andy kindly put me in my place.
“What are you so worried about?” he asked, “don’t you know you’re late to the game?”
And for guy approaching 50 years, I had to admit that he was right.