I can [sorta] see clearly now…

Now go out and get yourself some big black frames
With the glass so dark they won’t even know your name,
And the choice is up to you cause they come in two classes:
Rhinestone shades or cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah…

I realized that I needed glasses when I was around 25. I am fairly convinced that the deterioration of my vision is directly attributable to Diet Coke consumption, but that is a subject for another time. I was resistant to the idea of glasses after years of teasing my college roommate and dear friend [Hi Cari!] for her abysmal eyesight and reveling in my illusive and elusive perfection. But I went and got myself some glasses. They turned out to be very helpful. So much so in fact, that within only a few short years I was the one teased mercilessly about my crap vision by someone who thinks he will always be Mr. 20/20… I guess we will see. [Hello Matt F., I am talking to you.] So, now, when I want to see clearly, I can. Where I run into trouble is with sunglasses. I do not have prescription shades and so, things are always a little bit more of a crap shoot when I go under the lens. Revo has been my most reliable to date, but the thing is, they are a little expensive and so when I want to have some variety, I go for the cheap sunglasses.

Big. Black. Plastic. >US$5.

I can’t see shit when I wear them as a general rule. But that is not so bad sometimes. I say this because this morning I was walking through Central and onto the MTR to Causeway Bay and then up through Causeway to the office behind my huge cheap sunglasses, and I had this totally strange sort of shift in perspective. I was like I was seeing everything around me – including me. I suppose this is akin to someone speaking of themselves in the third person, which would generally make me want to kick them in the head ask them politely to stop, but it was kind of cool like I was looking at my life but not as the central character, and all the while cruising along behind my cheap sunglasses. It was fun.

I looked around at the total purpleness of CWB Station. I watched all the people going here and there and carrying god-knows-what in every sort of bag. I saw myself amidst these people and tried to imagine ever conceiving of the reality in which I now find myself. The shades are not ‘stunnahs’ but that is stunning. I came out of the station and headed up the street. People look directly at you when you wear ginormous dark sunglasses. This is notable because as a general rule, eye contact does not happen on the streets in Hong Kong – and when it does it always seems significant. But with the big, dark sunglasses, it’s like all of a sudden eye contact is okay because it is on the DL. Consequently, even though in some ways I see less, in many ways I really see lots more.

And once in a while it is kind of interesting to try to catch a glimpse of your life out of context; a third-party observer. Personally these subtle shifts in perspective have become more and more important to me in a world that is so caught up in comparison and competition (both of which I wholeheartedly, instinctively take part in) that can sometimes get a person down. It’s like how little kids like to spin around and get dizzy [which I still like to do as well, but it is difficult to manage on the streets in the 852] – it is all about altering one’s consciousness. And of course still being able to go to work after.

Last week I made a joke about turning 40, as I will inevitably do this year (stay tuned for details on that… it was going to be a South East Asian party but now I am thinking somewhere a little drier, dustier, and more flammable.) Someone replied that I didn’t know what I was saying (I did by the way, I was being purposefully vapid to mock a stereotype – I think…) “life is so much better after 50 because you can be a total bitch and say whatever you want. You are more like a man.” That was followed up by another person saying that people who are resistant to getting older are clearly unhappy people, because life gets better with age. I was filled with sadness for both of these people. I have no desire to be bitchier (done that), and certainly am not interested in being manly… and I am not sure I could be anymore okay with my life than I am. I do not mean that everything is like some silly RomCom or that I suddenly have manifested a fairy godmother – I just mean that how things are is really pretty great, especially because there is no alternative to reality, and I don’t feel like I need a fairy godmother (though I did meet two of my guardian angels at Autzen Stadium in Eugene back in 1993, so I know I’ve that going for me). So, if life just keeps getting better? Fan-freaking-tastic.

Once in a while distorting your vision with dark, blurry 40,000 Rupiyah fake Von Zipper sunglasses is the perfect way to see things far more accurately.

I got a crazy teacher, [s]he wears dark glasses,
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better…

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About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Chasing the Life I was Supposed to Want, Hong Kong, Life, Perception, Silliness and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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