Short-sighted

When I was in college, I earned a solid reputation for losing, misplacing, or simply repelling my possessions. In general, I have a cavalier attitude toward material objects. I usually like to imagine this is a laudable embrace of the Buddhist ideal of being unattached to the material plane, but most of my friends have just regarded it as a charming quirk of personality. There are those who think it’s a character flaw, but I don’t talk to those people anymore.

I’d be gesturing with my hands while making a point, and my watch would go flying off my wrist and across the room. Books, cigarettes, one left shoe… would mysteriously go missing on a daily basis. There were little cubby holes — caches, if you will — maintained by my friends all over campus that held clothing and personal effects I had carelessly shed and then left behind. I was once surprised to find my alarm clock behind the information desk at the student center. I still have no idea how that got there.

Now it seems that my skill for repelling items of value has regrouped, and isolated itself to my eyewear. Over the last two weeks, I have lost three pairs of contacts. This morning, I lost my glasses. It is very difficult to find one’s glasses when one needs them to see in the first place. I finally found them, after much crawling around the house on all fours, peering myopically at the floorboards. They were wedged between my bed frame and the mattress. Yeah, right. I have no idea either.

All of this lost eyewear has gone missing while I sleep. Since I doubt (although I can’t rule out) the idea that someone is sneaking into my house at night and stealing my contact lenses and hiding my glasses, I’m considering the theory that I’m doing it myself, in my sleep. I have a history of sleepwalking, although I haven’t done it regularly for years. When I was a kid, so my father informs me, I was fond of walking slowly up and down the street, swinging a large stick and singing the Oscar Meyer Weiner song. He’d lead me gently back inside, and I’d ask him if he had any more split pea soup. Not kidding.

So it’s possible I’m doing something equally nonsensical with my contacts. Or maybe I just treat them with such contempt (by not cleaning them ever, leaving them in my eyes for weeks at a time, etc.) that they have conspired against me and have developed a sort of underground railroad for eyewear unfortunate enough to be sold into servitude to me and my evil ways. Contacts slip away by night, singly and in pairs, following the light of the Drinking Gourd. The glasses occasionally make a run for it, but are too large and bulky and get caught before they can make good their escape.

Or maybe somebody really is breaking into my house just to fuck with me.

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