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A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury...

Tales from My Stupid Past (Not That the Present Isn't Pretty Moronic)

I have worn contact lenses since I was in high school due to the fact that I'm so nearsighted that if I wear my glasses out in the sun, my eyeballs will vaporize, fry like ants on a sidewalk. Also due to the fact that no one would look at me twice when I have the specs on. Well, that's not strictly true. They looked at me twice in a double-take sort of way, just before they called me Mrs. Magoo.

Back in the olden days, contact lenses were made of glass and could be quite uncomfortable from time to time. For two summers when I was in college, I worked in the office of the local weekly newspaper (very small town -- pop. 3,000) and printer. I did stuff like answer the phone, take classified ads, write stupid stories about stupid stuff, and take pictures of stupider stuff (to wit: I had to photograph the wheel of the Baptist Church bus because a robin had built a nest in there). The back part of the printing shop contained very very very old oldy mcOlderson printing equipment. Like the kind you had to roll the ink over the type with a brayer. Like Gutenburg used. Old. It was so dusty in there and full of chemical fumes that I couldn't wear my contact lenses to work, because my eyes would swell shut two minutes after I got to work and that made working difficult.

One weekend, I was going to Milwaukee to visit a friend whose brother was getting married on Saturday. I wasn't really invited to the wedding because I'd never met that particular brother, but she wanted someone to drink with and I was a logical choice because I'll drink with anyone.

The Badger Bus took one from rural Wisconsin into Milwaukee and left from downtown, so I took my weekend crap to work with me and just walked over to catch the bus. I insisted on wearing my contacts all day for some crackhead reason (so I would feel pretty), got onto the bus, went to Milwaukee and was picked up from the bus station by my friend. We went out to some taverns and had a zillion beers. All this time, my eyes were irritated but not bleeding and I was damned if I was going to put on my Coke bottles in public. Vanity. That night when I was trying to sleep post-tavern, my eyes wouldn't stop watering. They hurt more and more and more as the night wore on. Eventually the pain was at the emergency room point. My eyes really were swollen shut. The doctor said I looked like Kermit the frog. He mocked me for my vanity and said he hoped I'd learned my lesson. He put numb-y drops in my eyes and taped both my eyes shut and told me to untape them in 3 days.

So, by then, it was close to morning and everyone else was getting ready for the wedding. I called my sister, who lives in Milwaukee, to drive me home since taking the bus seemed impossible. However, the family had to leave to be to the church on time before my sister could get there, so it was decided that it would be best for them to leave me outside (dealing with locking the door and hididng the key -- not gonna happen) sitting on the front steps so my sister could find me. So, there I sat, my eyes taped shut, on the front steps of a house in suburban Milwaukee, waiting for my ride.

Pretty stupid. Signifying nothing. Soft lenses rule.

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