I look at my face in the mirror and think, this is how I am going to look for the rest of my life.
I wander into the bathroom late in the evening and start to wash my hands before I remember. I’m not going to touch my eyes.
As I climb into bed, my hands circle my face, but there’s nothing for them to grab.
I began wearing glasses when I was 6 years old and my first grade teacher noticed that I couldn’t see the blackboard. I remember being delighted that trees had individual leaves and were not just blobs of green.
The next time I saw my naked face in a mirror was a bit more than a decade later, when I began wearing contact lenses. A few days ago, I threw out all my contact lens paraphernalia. There’s a big empty space in the medicine cabinet that I don’t know what to do with.
All this is a backward way of saying that I’ve had cataract surgery in both eyes.
I know this is now a common procedure, and most everyone is happy with the results. Still, as a recovering myopic, I can’t help thinking this whole situation is special. It’s so about me.
I’m very visual; I notice a detail everywhere I am. I tend to be aware of my surroundings. My new vision, without cloudiness of cataracts and the yellowing of 64-year-old lenses, is so clear that the beauty I am used to seeing daily is multiplied. I can’t stop smiling. This is freedom.