9 August 2005
Home he was, and bleary-eyed...
Actually, though, I have an excuse. Two excuses, but not the one you think. I have had, I am having an ocular misadventure, a failure of spectacular engineering. In every sense.
Thing is, Iíve been to WorldCon: five days in Glasgow with the cream of the SF and fantasy community, four thousand-plus of us [one taxi-driver, overheard speaking to another: "Is there a diet conference for Americans in town?" This is mean, but fair; these days your average SF fan is not a nerdy fourteen-year-old, but middle-aged and super-sized. Bless 'em, though, they do still wear the black T-shirts, and they buy a hell of a lot more books].
Anyway, I went - of course! - by train; and was due to meet a couple of friends at the station, so's we could travel together in a mutual-supportish kind of way. And it was a sunny morning, so I wore my shades on the walk down; and as I came into the concourse I swapped them for my regular glasses, and there was a metallic spung!ing kind of a sound, and my heart sank. Thing is, my current glasses are mechanically complex in an airy, scary kind of way: utterly frameless, and the lenses only attach at one point to the delicate titanium wires of their scaffold. And the whole system does work loose every few months, and one of these days it's going to come apart completely, if I don't get it fixed in time.
So thereís my poor friend Gavin, come to catch the train; and our mutual friend Gail hasn't made it at all, and there's me saying "Well, I'm here, but I'm not going to catch the train. I'm straight up to the opticians, or disintegration will occur, hundreds of miles from home..."
So I shot off to find the people who are supposed to fix these things, and they didn't (individual incompetence, I think, I hope...), and then I just had to go home and rout out a spare pair, to avert calamity.
And now I'm home again, and the wretched ocular people have taken the glasses into hospital and hope to let me have them back tomorrow, so I am still operating with eyes that will not focus properly through lenses that are no longer the right prescription (I spend so much on new glasses, I only ever buy 'em at four- or five-year intervals, so the spare pairs are never up to speed with current circumstances), and if my sight is blurry and my head is sore it is demonstrably nothing to do with five days of WorldCon, no sirree...
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.