Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love at First Sight

Somewhere, over the ocean, between Rome and Boston, a terrible near-tragedy occurred and I was completely unaware, as were the other passengers, that anything was happening.  It wasn't until the next day, when I woke up from my much needed night of rest, that I realized what had happened and a sudden chill hit me right in the core.  It took a few moments, it wasn't immediately apparent until I tried to focus and had difficulty.  Oh, a blob of something I initially thought.....a stubborn little piece of something.....stuck there, right in the middle of my right lens.  I grabbed a tissue, squirted the glass cleaner and rubbed. And rubbed. And rubbed. Nothing.  A better look. Oh MY GOD....a set of huge, deep, ugly scratches in the middle of my bifocular vision field.  It wasn't there in Rome.  I did not notice it at Heathrow or during the first hours of flight.  So when did the dirty deal go down?

When something shocking happens, one's mind wanders.  The brain tries to make sense out of nonsense and often times, the nonsense gets bigger by the minute.  So, my brain teased, there is a logical explanation.  The Bulgarian woman did it.  She put a hex on me, going straight to the jugular, my precious glasses.  I knew it.  She wasn't as sweet as she wanted to look.  She wasn't happy at all about the fact that when she asked if I would excuse her, unfasten my seat belt and let her get up to go to the bathroom, I said "NO!" She looked crestfallen as I, who knows not one word in Bulgarian, swiftly explained "Is very dangerous now" then, as she started to unfasten her own seat belt to get up, "You no can go now".  The plane, at this point was bouncing around as if a classroom of kindergarten girls were on board.The flight attendants were strapped in to their seats.  Nobody was going anywhere and I sure as hell wasn't going to unstrap anything.  In fact, at this point, I would have liked a few more seat belts. It must have been her, she did it.  Revenge is sweet.  She was smiling at me for the rest of the flight....

So, for the next weeks I continued to wear my cursed spectacles.  It wasn't easy.  My eyes ached and my world did not feel well, not at all, as my eyeball kept reaching up and over the big scratches.

My ocular misery ended today.  My new lenses, free of charge due to a warranty, came in and a whole new story began when my turn came to consult with Gardner, the optician who would be cutting the lenses to fit the beloved frames.

"Lynn........where did you get these frames??????  They're the best ones I've ever handled. I live for days like this.  Do you know how valuable these are?"

Sit yourself down Gardner and I'll tell you the story of how I found these in a box in the waiting room of my former office in New York.  They were coke bottle sun glasses, probably put into the box in which I collected glasses for a charity of one sort or another. Beautiful remnants of a past  that, no doubt, had once belonged to somebody's grandmother, recently departed. I used to play with the glasses with my friend Danny DeLorenzo and one day.......I took them.  I took them home in their gold lame case.  I stuck them in a drawer where they remained for a long time until.....I found them and took them to the optician in Grand Central Station who said "lady, these are fabulous". "I know, I said, they're Vintage Calvin Klein and I hope you can make them into my prescription".  And the rest is history.  Almost ten years of history, a gazillion compliments and one big set of scratches.

Well, Gardner treated my glasses as if they were royalty.  He ooohed and he aaahed.  He begged for more and told me to come back in the afternoon.  He really wanted to take his time with putting the new lenses in.  He was so worried that he would break them during the process.  "You know, they're brittle"  "I know, they're vintage....."  Later, when I returned, we sat down again, this time for the final fitting.  "I've tightened the screws, they were loose"  "Use two hands, always.....careful now...."

My glasses were treated with reverence, dignity, respect.  I'm thrilled to have them back, doing the job they were meant to.  I'm so happy that they survived because they need to be with me for a long time more.  They, and me, will always be together.  They are me.  We're in love and always will be. As long as there are Gardners in my life, no amount of turbulence or Bulgarian trickery can ever break us up.

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