Like most days where I go to college and not to actual paid employment, today started at an unnamed random mid-morning hour with much faffing. I do love to faff in the morning. I eventually made it into college in time to do 30 minutes of transcribing before it was time to go for lunch. I went for lunch and then had a mission to complete.
Since I gave up smoking, I have discovered that I have hay fever. My contact lenses are just unwearable. The pollen turns them into fogged-up-sandpaper-for-my-corneas. And I love my contact lenses. They’re all-day-all-night lenses that I only take out to change once a month. I love freedom from glasses.
The inspiration for finally getting contacts came one Saturday morning in 2007. I woke up hungover. And, as frequently happened in the mornings, I couldn’t find my glasses. My eyesight is very poor and something as transparent as glasses is impossible to see when I’m not wearing glasses. In other words, I could only see glasses when wearing my glasses. I couldn’t see them anywhere, so I went to the kitchen and got two large drinking glasses. I put these tumblers to my eyes, like binoculars, and I could see a bit better. I stumbled around looking for my glasses. Unfortunately, my hangover meant that I didn’t have full control over my limbs and I let one of the drinking glasses slip to the floor. It smashed. I was just out of bed, so I wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks. I could have ripped my feet to shreds on broken glass. I didn’t. And I eventually found my glasses down the side of the sofa.
In response to this situation, I’m sure some people would consider the role of alcohol in their lives. I didn’t. My response was to get contact lenses.
In one of the worse periods of self-inflicted poverty recorded in this blog, I had to go about six weeks without my contacts, but other than that, I’ve barely worn glasses at all.
And my glasses are awful. I bought them in 2004 in Poland. I still remember the Polish optician laughing at my hesitant Polish, and being absolutely amazed that someone from Ireland (where the streets were, at the time, paved with gold) was living in Zaspa by choice. Anyway, in the last eight years this pair of glasses has had a bad time of it. I’ve sat on them at least three times. I can’t count the number of times they’ve ended up under my bed and had to send friends or family members to find them (as I’ve specified, I can’t see them if I’m not wearing them). They’re extraordinarily uncomfortable. And they have accumulated a greenish gunk behind the nosepads that (try as I might) I can’t get rid of.
Part of my plan to Gok myself was to get new glasses. My hay fever had forced me into my current vile pair. So today was the day to buy my new glasses.
My new glasses are amazing. I got two pairs. They’re undeniably hipster. They’re both designer. Me, in designer glasses. I’ve come a long way from Whitethorn Drive.
One pair is FCUK. They’re standard issue black-rimmed glasses that give my moonface oodles of definition.
The other pair make my heart sing. They’re so cool. They make me look like one of the Mad Men. Only more fun. I’m collecting them tomorrow and I’m going to gel my hair for the first time in fifteen years in honour of the occasion.
I was so happy with my purchases that I went into a bit of a retail frenzy. I bought a blue watch (to add to my green one, my black one, my orange one, my yellow one and my purple one). I also bought a white One Direction bracelet, to alleviate the boredom of always wearing the black One Direction bracelet. And I got a spare black one and a spare white one just in case they fall apart. I also bought a set of little coloured plastic balls to jazz up my nipple piercing, which has been boring old stainless steel for the last seven years. I almost bought a pair of shorts, a jacket and a t-shirt too. But I didn’t.
It was a wonderful afternoon. I’m worth decorating. And life is worth colouring in.
I finished the day by going swimming for the third time this week. I’m growing to love the grimy and sleazy Markievicz Leisure Centre swimming pool, with its tiny and functional sauna, its filthy changing rooms and its clientele of the poor and the foreign. I still haven’t managed to work up the courage to swim without a float, but I did it before and I’ll do it again. Going to the swimming pool relaxes me, helps me to accept my body and leaves me feeling happy.
Remind me of that the next time I decide not to bother going.