Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

Get Me Out Of Jail

MY MIND IS IN JAIL. At least that is how it feels. Right now, with one cataract gone and one still to be dealt with, I have two totally different eyes with totally different focus points and even totally different color perceptions. That all makes reading very difficult.

Taking away my ability to pick up a book or my Kindle and comfortably read is like lashing me to a chair, putting a paper bag over my head, and closing all the drapes. The World has disappeared.


Thankfully (in my opinion), I can still pick up a pen and write. Putting my words up online might be a bit of a chore, but I’ll hunt and peck my way through it. I don’t recall a time in my life when I couldn’t read. There were always books around the house and the Carnegie Free Library was just a short walk away. Even when I was confined at home for six weeks after surgery when I was ten years old I had books to take me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go. It has always been that way. Authors have been my travel agents.

I have never been to Asia, but reading my way through Jake Needham’s novels make me feel that I could find my way through the streets of Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Singapore. Maybe one of these days I’ll get a chance to test that theory.


As a kid it was Asimov and Heinlein who took me into Space where I became the Stranger in a Strange Land. Steinbeck walked me through the rough and tumble of Cannery Row and the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Murakami and his Wind-Up Bird and Steig Larsson’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo took me overseas and into other cultures.

Being able to get comfy with a cup of coffee and a book has been among the most wonderful experiences of my life – and I miss that. I know that this is only a short term problem so I am able to put it in perspective and be thankful. Meanwhile the electronic stack of books grows ever higher.

The doctor says that everything will settle into place in about three to five weeks after the second eye is repaired. I should then be able to get myself some reading glasses. Three to five weeks…I can hack that. I have some new authors patiently waiting in line for my return. If I can take the delay so can they.


I’m hoping, when my vision rights itself and lets me get into gear again, that my penmanship will improve as well. It has never been all that good. “A spastic chicken” is how one person once described my handwriting.

“You took that chicken, dipped it in the ink, and turned it loose on the paper.”

I have to admit that there are times when I do have trouble figuring out what I’ve written. My hope is that Post-Op my chicken will do better.

Until this whole business is finished I will have to content myself with remembering the great books that I have read and the new ones that lay in front of me. I’ll think of the wonderful phraseology of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and the stark, blunt prose of Chuck Palahniuk.

I can hardly wait.

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6 thoughts on “Get Me Out Of Jail

  1. Today was one of your best pieces, John. Consider a Layman is sincerely proud to have you as a Friend, and that the Friendship will progress through the future. Thank you for being, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you considered getting a few audio books for the short term? You might find it a fun way to get through your TBR pile. Many libraries lend them too. I “read” The Pillars of the Earth that way and enjoyed it. Being read to is nice from time to time. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just had eye #2 done this morning. Both eyes will be alike shortly and I can get some reading glasses.
      I’m a fan of “talking books.” I used to be a reader for the LOC talking book program.

      Thank you for your kind concern.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury – you’re talking REAL science-fiction writers. Today’s wanna-be’s could learn a lot from just their short stories. And Fahrenheit 451.

    Liked by 1 person

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