It had been a few years since that last time I had an eye exam and a new pair of glasses. I'm near sighted, so I never felt the need to get an update as I really only used them to drive or to watch movies. My cheap, flimsy old pair were starting to fall apart on me though and I decided that it was time for replacements. So I made an appointment with an optometrist and picked out a new pair the same day. It was one of those places that have to send away for the lenses, so I went about a week before I was able to come pick up the new ones. I had sort of forgot about them about ten days later when one of the women from the glasses store called and said that they were finally ready and that I could stop in and pick them up. Looking back on the things that would happen soon after, I sort of wish I hadn't.
The store was inside of a busy mall, and I made the mistake of going during the lunch time rush. I had to fight my way through the food court to get to the shop and the place itself was packed full of people picking up their glasses or trying on new ones during their break. I had to wait around for about ten minutes before someone was free and could help me. The lady told me to have a seat and she went into the back to find my glasses. I had picked out a pair that were kind of “heavy duty” because I planned on wearing them when I went hiking or played sports. They were shaped more like shooting googles than normal glasses. The woman came back out and sat across from me and pulled out all the stuff that comes with a new pair of glasses: cleaning wipes, a strap, demo lenses, etc. And the glasses themselves.
She hands me the glasses and I put them on. Anyone who has ever gotten a new pair of glasses known that the first few seconds of your eyes trying to adjust are weird and it makes it even more-so when the person is sitting there and staring at you waiting for your judgment of how well you can see. I sat there with that fish in a tank stare as my eyes tried to focus through the lenses. Everything around the edges of my vision were blurred and I felt like I was looking backwards through a telescope. I tried closing my eyes and blinking a few times, but it didn't seem to really help. The woman said something along the lines of “Are they blurry? There is a transition period that your brain has to make sometimes with a new prescription.” That made sense to me, so I just let it go and let her adjust the frame to my face so that they fit right. Afterwards, I took them off and put them back into the case they came with and left.
I didn't want to risk driving with them since they were so...odd looking to my eyes, so I just used my old pair on the way home. I had nowhere to be afterwards, however, so I put them on while I was watching television and playing around on my laptop. Even sitting there, it felt as though I was getting a serious case of vertigo, and my eyes felt as through I had been drinking even though I hadn't. I would get up to walk around and seem as though I was floating rather than actually taking any normal steps. And the blurring at the corners weren't getting any clearer after the few hours I had been wearing them. I thought that it may have been caused by the curving of the lenses, since they weren't like a normal flat style. Whatever it was, it was strange to look through. But surprisingly, I wasn't getting a headache or anything like eye strains from it.
The next day, I again wore them around the house and the sensations hadn't really subsided at all. In fact, they somehow got worse. I began to see what looked like shadows moving around the edges of my vision, but when I would turn my head to look directly in their direction, nothing was there. The shadows started off generally the same sized blobs but as the day went, they started to have more definition. It was like someone was walking just out of view and would disappear as soon as I turned my head to look their way. It was a very unsettling feeling and it only got worse during the day. Eventually I couldn't really handle it anymore and took them off for awhile. I started reading online about the adjustment periods that your eyes have to make to new glasses and thought that maybe that was what was going on. But that wouldn't explain what happened later that evening.
I wanted to see how well they would work in that period of day that was always the hardest for me the see: when the sun is going down but it's not completely dark yet. So I put them on, tried to adjust as well as I could, and got in the car. I could see more clearly through the front of the lenses, but was still have the blurring and shadows around the edges. The trip I was planning on taking wasn't going to be all that far, just to a fast food joint, so I thought it would be okay to still give it a try even through things were still fuzzy. The neighborhood I live in has a lot of foot traffic of people walking dogs, taking kids out for bike rides, etc. But this time of year, when it's colder, there weren't usually that many people out when the sun would start to go down. I came over a hill and was only going about 20 miles per hour when down at the end of the road before a stop, I started to see another shadow form at the edges of my glasses. Only this time, it was like the shadow was forming far out in front of me.
The “shadow” was crossing the street out in front of me, and once it got the clear center of the lenses, it became the complete shape of man walking. He was wearing dark colored pants and a light short sleeved shirt, which wasn't normal for this time of year. He crossed by slowly, and I had to hit my breaks a bit because I wasn't sure he would make it to the other side of the sidewalk before I got to the stop sign. Though it seemed weird and out of place, I didn't think much of it at the time. I gave him a glance as I went by and he turned back into the shadowy form as I passed by him. The rational part of my mind kept saying “it's just the glasses, just let it go.”
But more and more of those “shadows into people” kept popping up the entire way to the restaurant. And each and every one of them just looked so out of place. I was more confused than I was afraid, but none of it made sense. There were a group of maybe a dozen of them, all dressed the same, standing in the road when I made a turn. I quickly hit the breaks, squeezed my eyes shut, and pulled off the glasses. When I opened my eyes, not even a second later, the street was completely empty. I looked all over, and spun around in my seat to look behind me, but there was nothing. No people, no shadows, nothing.
I drove the rest of the way home without glasses, and left them in the car after I got home. I was on edge and had no clue what it was I was seeing with them on. But whatever or whoever they were, I didn't want to find out. The next morning, I put on my old pair, and got back into the car. But I couldn't find the new ones at all. I remember just tearing them off my face and tossing them into the passengers seat the night before, but the seat was empty. I got back out and went around to the other side, expecting that they had fallen between the door or on the floorboard. I couldn't find them anywhere, though. They were gone. I checked to make sure that all the doors had been locked, and that nothing else was missing from my car. The only thing I couldn't find were my new glasses.
But, even though they cost me $250 bucks, I didn't really mind all that much that they were gone. I'll stick with my old ones from now on.