When my eyes gave out last year, and everything was getting really fuzzy, at some point I had to stop reading. It was hard to. I had to read from the periphery of my vision. There were bruises on my eyeballs. The doctors called it retinopathy. This was diagnosed sometime around September. My vision got so bad I couldn’t even read text messages off of my phone. I’d have to ask someone to read it to me when I would hear a message alert.
Somewhere, I can hear someone singing Big Yellow Taxi. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
As of February, my eye doctor said the bruises were gone but my vision was still off. I could see better, the world was no longer blurred, but reading was still difficult. Later I discovered that I’ve become near-sighted. I struggled with Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I was reading quite slowly and when I find a book that well-written and something I could really sink my teeth into I usually end up reading fast and finishing it within two days.
Reading Freedom took weeks. After that, I stopped reading books for a long, long while. That was probably November 2010.
I only picked up a book again just now. My friend, Morx, is coming at the end of the month to visit me here in Bacolod and when we last saw each other in May he gave me a book to read: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s a good book. It’s about rock and roll, but the bad side that happens in the periphery. It’s about bad choices. Morx was spot on and knew I would enjoy it.
Of course, it is taking me forever to finish it. I can only read a chapter at a time. I can’t consume books like I used to.
But I’m reading again. That’s a good thing.