My vision is astonishingly poor. My first instinctive act upon waking is to reach out for my glasses; if my hand does not immediately fall upon them where they were carefully placed at night, a small panic ensues because, you see, I cannot find my glasses without my glasses.

I cannot read without my glasses or contacts. If I hold a book close enough for the blurs to resolve into text, my own face blocks out the light necessary for reading.

All I’m saying: these glasses, they are powerful. One old boyfriend would urge me to hand them ’round the table at the coffeehouse, assuring his friends, “When you put them on, you can see through time.”

For the first time in many years, I have new glasses, with a markedly stronger prescription. Understandably, it takes a while for the visual cortex to reconcile itself to the exciting new world outside the brainpan. I’m having just a smidge of trouble with depth perception, by which I mean I am banging about like a drunken raccoon in a blindfold. Some notes to myself on the fine-tuning of perception:

– That butterfly flittering charmingly about you is a few inches away, not a foot or more, and if you inhale sharply it will be perilously close to getting sucked into your mouth.

-Yes, those are your own feet, so tiny and distant, on the pavement. It is not strictly necessary to watch them at all times.

– Quit blinking already.

– Perhaps you should wait for the walk signal and not cross against the light, no matter how reassuringly distant that car seems to be.

– Those large starfish-shaped blobs moving around outside your field of vision are people. They, too, are closer than they appear, and you know some of them, so it is acceptable, nay, desirable, to look at them and say hello.

– It is not strictly necessary to look directly out the exact center of your spectacle lenses at all times; you are allowed, even encouraged, to use your (now sadly limited) peripheral vision, which will save others the sight of your disconcerting new tendency to turn the entire upper body toward any object of interest, you freak.

– Look out, you’re gonna walk straight into that stop sign! OUCH! … Told ya.