Original URL: https://kiki-voice.jp/journal/352
※This essay contains a bonus image that can be seen at the original URL above, past the paywall (KIKI-VOICE subscription required).
Even if you’re standing at the crossing, I might not be able to spot you anymore.*
My serialization in VOICE Newtype began with a comprehensive checkup. Since it reached essay #10 the other day, I took the opportunity to have another physical examination done. I didn’t have any particular symptoms, but I made the appointment anyway, figuring it was for the sake of my future health.
Just to get this out of the way, there weren’t any issues save one thing. It was actually anticlimactic. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances there was no endoscopy or barium x-ray, so there wasn’t much to it.
My eyesight. It was halved.
I had mild astigmatism as a child, but it healed. Over the past 25 years, both of my eyes drifted from about 1.2 to 1.5. Glasses don’t look good on me and I absolutely refuse to wear contacts because they hurt, so I’ve had no choice but to go bare eyed.
But now, the two lights that I was so proud of have lost their brilliance.* I won’t say the exact number, but my vision deteriorated more than expected. I don’t need to wear glasses, but I was told to avoid looking at things from up close too much.
Thinking about it, it’s true that I haven’t been doing anything good for my eyes. At work I stare at scripts and monitors, when I get home I read books and watch movies, and when I go to bed, I look at my smartphone with my bangs over my eyes. If anything, I’m actively moving towards catastrophe. I ate SUKIYAKI for work the other day, but I haven’t been looking up as I walk for who knows how many years now.**
I realized there were signs that my vision was deteriorating. When I’m waiting for the train, I can’t tell the difference between 0, 3, 6, and 8 on the electric display board. Well, it’s more that I’ll think, “I guess that’s an 8?” Usually I’m right, but occasionally I’m not. That’s how it’s been.
Also, when I’m saying lines that go on and on, I quickly look down at my script and my eyes slip. I can recognize the words and, given a moment, understand what they mean, but it takes more than an instant for my eyes to adjust their focus. I haven’t really done anything about it, assuming I was just tired, but this is a serious problem.
However, I’m known for hating injections and not being able to handle pain. Obviously I hate eye drops too, and I’ve never used them voluntarily despite having pollen allergies. I’ve never once carried my prescribed eye drops on me. This is who I am, but I’ve finally, finally resolved to buy eye drops.
…After writing all of that at this local restaurant, I’ve discerned that the decisive time has come at last. There’s a drugstore on the same street as this restaurant, and it surely sells eye drops. I’m surely going to buy eye drops there—the mild type that’s gentle on the eyes.
But I cannot stand up yet. It’s troubling that I can’t see your brown hair swaying gently in the wind,* but I don’t want to take the first step just yet.
I order another beer and take a sip, trepidatiously waiting for a 32nd day of summer vacation that shouldn’t be possible.***
*Referencing the song “Andromeda” by aiko
**Referencing the song “Ue wo Muite Arukou” (aka “SUKIYAKI”) by Sakamoto Kyu
***Possibly a reference to the PSX game “Boku no Natsuyasumi” which had a famous bug where you could reach August 32nd