Never give your daughter hard lenses Mrs Worthington:
Honestly there is nothing like the faint, yet unforgiving, tinny ‘tut’ of a Gas Permeable as it hits a surface somewhere nearby, languishing in a place that its bleary eyed owner can neither see nor move toward. At that very moment of acknowledgement, when Kelly’s Eye is all that there is and all you can do is stand stock still proclaiming for all you are worth.
Years ago when this happened and I was perhaps slightly worse for wear I might find myself shouting “Alice, Alice, AH—LICE-UH, you’ve got good eyes come and help me find this lens, It’s popped out and I am blind and drunk, but don’t move your feet when you are within the pinging distance’
My dear friend Alice has been through this ceremony with me many a time and almost every time has declared ‘yes I’ve got brilliant eyes, I find lost stuff all of the time, I’m known for it, let me find my lighter’
So I, as the lens wearer am there patting myself down in the hope that the errant ocular add-on might be caught somewhere in my jerkin (it is probably a Monday night, 2007, mid December in a freezing cold bathroom, around 3.42 am and the guilt as well as the rot is setting in), waiting for my partner in crime to hover into the bathroom in case she crushes the lens and then all will be lost ‘Don’t let the dog in, the dog don’t let it in, he might lick it and then that’s £80 down the drain and these lenses are still on tick to Mr Shah’
So, tonight just as I am coming to terms with my midweek middle aged self I misjudge the placing of the second lens into its little pot and there it is, that sound, that brittle boned clatter as the dry eyed dread sets in. I start patting down, feet still as an unmade man waiting to become part of Brooklyn Bridge, bending the bedside lamp towards the concrete floor, only to highlight the chunks of broken glass from a misdemeanour made many months ago ‘Oh God, that’s where the dog hides, he could have…’ Still no sign of the lens, for that is what we are searching for, then I remember that I have a mobile phone, with a torch, at the same time racing through my mind is the comfort in knowing that my glasses have two arms and are not held together by sellotape, so I could leave the house and at a push not fall over.
The torch sweeps under my bed, over my ‘dressing table’ (in reality a chest of drawers that I found outside The Conqueror years ago, when Steve and Sheila wore lampshades for hats and were the King and Queen of Shoreditch), when I spy that fragile disc sitting there drying like a piece of corral, ever more brittle with each passing second. All of a sudden my feet become unstuck as I place in its pot, squirt the fluid and close the lid.
I live to see another day.
Dedicated to Alice Urquhart