Thursday, 20 August 2009
By The Game
Last week I met someone at work who said, “I’m hella blind.” Like most people who live in California would do, I immediately assumed that this person was from the San Francisco Bay Area. Bay Area folks are known for their excessive use of “hella” as an adjective (a word which Microsoft Word insists, via a squiggly red line, doesn’t have a right to exist), but I’m not sure why this came to be. Do Bay Area people say it because they think it’s cool, or does the rest of the country refuse to say it because we consciously don’t want to suck. “Hella” is quite possibly the worst slang term to ever have been muttered. It sounds like it’s supposed to be a play on the term “hell of a,” but it somehow evolved into a loony way of saying “very”. No good thing has ever come from the use of this word. It’s no coincidence that No Doubt broke up shortly after they released their single Hella Good in 2001. The only person who can successfully incorporate “hella” into his vernacular is Oakland rapper E-40, and that’s mostly because no one knows what the hell he’s saying anyway.
Being that I’m an eye doctor by trade, I can confidently say that this person was not blind and that this person was indeed from the Bay Area (specifically, a theoretical place called “Fremont”). When explained to this person that she was just moderately near-sighted, she asked, “Does that mean I can’t see near?” To this I said, “No, near-sighted means that you are NEAR. SIGHTED,” to which she said, “Right. So I can’t see near?” to which I said, “No, near-sighted means that you that your sight is NEAR,” to which she said, “Is that why I can’t see things that are far away?” to which I said, “Yes,” to which she said, “That’s so confusing,” to which I said, “You’re a fucking dumbass.” (I didn’t say that last part.)
She was noticeably distraught that her vision wasn’t perfect and she insisted that she was “hella blind.” It wasn’t until I told her that my vision was twice as worse as hers that she felt better. I don’t understand Bay Area people.
However, my encounter with this dimwit ironically shed new light on how I view my own visual condition.
As anyone who is near-sighted can profess, being near-sighted is not fun. For me, I can’t see anything clearly that is beyond fourteen centimeters from my face without my eyeglasses or contact lenses. It’s annoying to not see the alarm clock when I wake up in the morning. It’s a hassle to put on my contact lenses every morning after brushing my teeth. It’s cumbersome to wear eyeglasses when I’m exercising at the gym.
But at the end of the day, I really don’t mind it at all.
I don’t mind taking off my contact lenses or eyeglasses when I get home from work, even though without them the world is an utter blur, because sometimes I don’t want to see the world when it’s “in focus.” Sometimes I don’t want to see the things that make me happy, or the things that make me sad, or the things that piss me off. Sometimes I don’t want to have any emotive reaction whatsoever to anything at all. Sometimes I just want to see the real world from my own eyes, from a perspective that is uniquely mine, because sometimes a blurry view offers a fresh new focus, which makes for a clearer mind.
The world is full of shit, and sometimes I want to get away.
And that’s hella real.