Week 8 – Corrected Vision

Gokart Track by Bernard Heise

Makeshift Optometry by Christian Bell

Mom was a makeshift optometrist. She made a few extra bucks working in the basement, keeping the neighborhood in glasses. She had an old phoropter she got at auction, cardboard boxes of used glasses bought in black market bulk. For awhile, she dabbled in home dentistry, but that involved too much screaming—it scared the dog and the seven cats and raised hairs on us kids too. But no matter what Mom did we thought she was amazing. She was sixty different women, feeding us meals, stitching our clothes when torn, keeping our house together. We would kneel on the couch and look out the window, see if Dad were ever coming home. She’d say, voice cracking, sorry, kids, your Dad and I—let’s just say my vision was bad before but now it’s improved. Once, crowded outside the kitchen out of view, we overheard her say, I’m not the other woman, sobbing to a friend over the phone, that’s the one woman I could never be.

Skinnydippers by Katie Palmer Finn

We were expressly told “No skinnydipping” at the end-of-camp staff party. Because of this, and despite having drunk more beer than ever, my heart races and my mouth dries as I drop my shorts on the sand. I pull my shirt over my head, set my glasses on top of the pile. I turn toward my swimming partner: already naked, knee-deep in the water, watching me undress. In the half-light, I can see the creamy color of her skin, the blob that is her dyed-black hair, her awkward lanky limbs, a spot which must be the patch between her legs. But no detail! My glasses! The first time a girl shows me her naked body and I can’t see it! But I can’t wear them if I am to go into the water, where touching might be possible. “Damn,” I swear aloud. She takes it as a compliment, asking, “Is this the first time you’ve seen a girl naked?” She turns and half-runs/half-dives into the dark water. I follow, swim up to her. “What are we supposed to do next?,” I ask. “What do you want to do next?” she asks back, brushing against my hip with hers. My fear of the camp director leaves me and I am faced with a new fear: of everything I ever wanted being laid out in front of me for the taking.

Storyboard by  Stephen Hastings-King

For a time he documented his facial expressions.

He arranged the photographs on a storyboard.

With his finger he traced pathways through fields of possibilities.

Guiding himself with a hand mirror, he mimed the resulting sequences

and waited for something to fill the blank spaces behind.

But somehow there was no learning.

He thought: Perhaps someone else is narrating my life.

Back to Wk #7 – Broken Camera

Forward to Wk #9 – Cigarette Smoke in the Car

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One Response to “Week 8 – Corrected Vision”

  1. Son of a gun, this is so hellpuf!

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