People Watching

This was originally posted on February 25, 2016 at 2:22 PM on Blogger


People have asked me, many times over the years, if I had the opportunity to get twenty/twenty vision—via some sort of surgery—would I take it? And, to the bewilderment of most, I answer that I’m not sure.

I’ve grown accustomed to things as they are.  And, certainly, there are times when I wish I had twenty/twenty: when I think about not being able to drive, for example, but then I remember that traffic and parking is crazy in New York, anyway.  Or when a train approaches a station like Union Square, where its really loud, and I can’t see the number on the side of the train and I’m struggling to get someone’s attention so that I can ask them.  Or when I’m at a busy intersection, and its the middle of the day so I can’t see the streetlights, I think how easy it would be if I could just see them whenever (but, I don’t necessarily need twenty/twenty for that, just more vision than I have now).  Besides, I’ve spent years working with mobility teachers (click here for a definition) to perfect my street crossing skills.  So the only thing I would really need twenty/twenty vision for would be driving.  And I can live without that; I plan to live and work in cities).

However, if I could have …  better vision, I would take that.  Maybe restore what I’ve lost (I didn’t take my drops for a few years) so I can read money again.  I don’t remember if I could distinguish facial features before, but I’d love to be able to do it now.

As I sit here, watching the people stream past me, I wish I could see their faces and attire, it would make coming up with character descriptions a lot easier.

I enjoy letting dialogue flow around me and picking out the interesting bits; they also help me build characters, and make their dialogue as realistic as possible.  But I don’t get the full picture, you know?

Yes, I do construct images of people in my mind’s eye.  I’ve asked my friends for descriptions of other friends, teachers, etc, and then I see if how I constructed them mentally is accurate to how they actually look.  And, surprisingly, more often than not, it’s fairly close.  But I’ve definitely had moments where I was so far off…

I’ve gotten around not being able to people watch, by sitting with friends and  having them do it for me.  And it’s actually pretty fun.  And I appreciate that I have a few friends who can give me unbiased descriptions—you know, just giving me the facts—before the hilarity ensues when they start offering opinions/making commentary.

But I would love to see it for myself.  And again, I don’t need twenty/twenty for that, just more than I have now.

* * *

I think what keeps me from posting regularly is the amount of pressure I put on myself.  So many things happen each day, and I start writing it down, but then I start to second-guess how interesting it is.  But sitting here now, on the skybridge—it’s an enclosed bridge that connects the buildings of my school at the third story—and watching the figures stream past me, I thought about a post, wrote it, and, since I brought my laptop with me today, uploaded it.  I didn’t overthink.

And I still plan on uploading on Saturday.

Well, till next time


(Nahuatl for goodye or see you later… love the Aztecs)

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