Who is That Man?

The other day I went to my optometrist for an annual check up. At the conclusion, I decided that I needed to update my glasses as my prescription had changed more than a little.

I was turned over to a technician who went over what I needed and checked to ensure I was getting what I wanted. This was all done very professionally.


At one point, she had to take my existing glasses away to make a tracing of the frames so that the new lenses could be cut to fit my existing frame. That took around fifteen minutes, so I was left to wait for her to make the necessary tracings.


I sat there, vision not quite perfect, looked around and saw this fellow in the room looking at me. I turned away, but when I looked back he was still looking at me.


He looked older than me and somewhat dishevelled. Then, as I moved in the chair to get a better look, I realised that I was looking at myself in a large mirror. As I scrutinised this ‘stranger’, I was disturbed at first, but then had to contain my laughter. Clearly, I had no idea how I presented myself to others.


With my grey to white hair and age-lined face, I looked much older than I felt. I was slouched in my chair, which I do to relieve the pain from my bad back. My socks were showing and they were not only the wrong colour for the pants I was wearing, mottled orange doesn’t go well with blue jeans, but I cut the tops and then roll down the tops of my socks these days so it relieves the oedema swelling in my legs. They made me look like I was trying to use socks that were too big for me.


My clothes were truly dishevelled—from top to bottom. I looked like I had slept in them.

I was a sight to behold and yet I thought I’d dressed quite properly that morning. Clearly, I wasn’t a model for selling clothes.


To top off the sight of me, parts of my face displayed peeling dead skin, which I never saw in the mirror at home. That was a result of a new gel medication I’m putting on my face to deal with some rosacea.


I couldn’t take it any longer and turned away from the mirror. Who must the young technician think she’s dealing with? She might have been wondering where I was going to get the money to pay for my glasses.


I rested my head on my hand as I leaned on the armrest of the chair and pondered the sight I presented to the world that afternoon, then….wait for it…..I fell asleep.


Thankfully, I had a hypnic jerk that made my arm slip off the armrest and woke me up. I don’t know how long I was out, but it wasn’t long, because the technician had not returned, thank goodness. She might have thought I had passed on while waiting for her. When she did return, I’d composed myself somewhat. I sat up properly in the chair and straightened my jacket. I’d also looked back in the mirror and remove as much of the peeling skin from my face as I could see.


I finished what I had to with the technician, paid my fee, and left without daring to look into one of the many mirrors in the office. As I walked to my car I couldn’t help but wonder what tales the staff would be passing around about the old guy in the office.

I hope they were laughing—I was.


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