When I was in the fifth grade, I had a little problem with schoolwork. Since I was one of those kids that never had problems with schoolwork, an investigative team was formed on my behalf. My mother, my teacher, the principal, and the school librarian were all brought into the huddle to figure out what my problem might be.
My totally dysfunctional family life was never discussed. No one ever discussed any child’s dysfunctional family life. There’s was an unspoken yet unbreakable agreement that whatever horrors occurred at home had nothing to do with school. Besides, whatever was wrong with my home life had never affected my schoolwork in the past, so … why now?
Eventually, when the brain trust could not come up with an answer, they thought maybe they might ask me a few quick questions.
“Is the work too difficult?” they asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” I said.
“Is anyone in class bothering you?”
“Not more than usual,” I replied.
Many questions and answers later, someone asked me where in the room I sat.
“In the back,” I said. I liked being alone. “But I can’t see the blackboard.”
It was an “aha” moment which forever changed my life. I needed eyeglasses. I have been wearing eyeglasses ever since. Glass. Glasses. Eyeglasses. Spectacles. The first thing I reach for in the morning — unless the phone is ringing. The last thing I (carefully) put away at night.
Glasses. Glass. The difference between being able to see the edges of things … and a world that appears as an impressionist painting.