For the past few years I have been hanging around the southwest. For a person that was identified as a genius, with an extremely high I.Q., I should probably be ashamed of the way I have wasted my life, but for the most part, I have spent my life doing exactly what I wanted to. I left high school with my diploma, but it was only due to the kindness of my algebra instructor, who must have marked me using an extraordinary bell curve. I have drifted from place to place, almost as if I were searching for something, and it is only in the past few years that I have gradually begun to realize that what I am searching for probably exists only in my mind. Although I must admit that I have been thinking more and more about what my life would have been like if I had married the girl I was going with in high school. She was about 5' 2", with short dark brown hair, and large chocolate brown eyes. She was a little plump, cuddly, and vivacious. She was my steady girl and we were pretty serious. But, my parents talked me out of going with her, because she was very nearsighted and wore thick coke-bottle glasses. My mom kept harping at me that if I should marry her and have children, they would have bad eyes like Linda's. So, when we finished high school, we went our separate ways.
Even with my lack of formal education, I have always been able to find a job. Over the years I have been a truck driver, both long and short haul. For a few years I worked in construction, both building houses, and operating heavy equipment. I have worked as a plumber, a mechanic, a black jack dealer in Las Vegas, and any other job that came along. I even worked for a short while as a used car salesman. If I were to have to prepare a resume, I am sure that my experience would qualify me, but my length of employment, as well as the number of jobs I have had over the past few years would scare any potential employer away. But, if I want the job, I generally get it. I always offer to work for no set wages for the first week. At the end of the week I get paid what I am worth, and I generally end up with the job, at a fair and reasonable wage. I have never had anyone stick it too me yet.
Being such a nomad, never living in one town or city much longer than 6 or 8 months at a time has made it almost impossible to develop a relationship with any members of the opposite sex. I got sick and tired of hanging around bars and meeting people that I really didn't like a few years ago, so now when I come into a new area, I become a member of a church. I have met some nice ladies, but no one has really caught my interest yet. And whenever I call and talk to my mom, and she asks me if I have met any nice girls recently, I feel like telling her that I haven't met anyone that I like better than Linda yet. But, I don't like to rub it in, so I say nothing.
Recently, I have been working 2 jobs. During the day I have been setting ceramic tile, and in the evenings and on weekends I have been driving a limousine. On the weekends, I often went back and forth to Vegas, and would hang around waiting for my passengers to blow their bundle. This gave me a fair amount of free time, which I would spend walking around the casinos. It was only recently that I discovered what seemed to catch my eye most often were ladies that wore glasses. And like anything else I have done in my life, once I decided that ladies wearing glasses intrigued me, I began to refine my search. Many of the ladies wore glasses that magnified their eyes, and I soon figured out that they were farsighted. Quite a few others wore glasses that really didn't have much distortion, and made their eyes just a little bit smaller. It was while watching these ladies, which made up the bulk of the younger glasses wearers, that I decided they were like Linda, but not nearly so nearsighted. And, in only a very few cases, they had glasses that were nice and strong, with a lot of minification. These were the ladies that started to catch my eye. There were so few of them that I soon realized they were very special ladies. Before long, I was able to scan the crowd, and immediately spot the light dancing off plano lenses. I would make my way over to where they were, and occasionally a male would be accompanying the lady that had given me the optical signal, so I would be on my way. But every once in a while, I would find a lady worthy of my attention, and eventually, to the clinging and clanging of the slot machines, we would have a pleasant conversation. Sometimes, it would even lead to a date, but nothing ever seemed to develop to make me give up my solitary life.
I did a lot of weddings on Saturdays as well. I liked weddings, as it seemed like such a happy occasion. When my boss went to bridal shows, I would accompany him, and every once in a while, I would spot a bride to be that wore glasses worthy of my admiration. So, I would track the name, and I quite often was able to be the driver for the wedding party. But, of all the glasses wearing brides to be, not one wore glasses on their special day. This was quite amusing, as a couple of the brides had to remove their contacts in the limo right after the ceremony, and at these times I became keeper of the glasses for the picture shots. On a few occasions, I could tell from the strength of the glasses and the way the brides acted without them that they were high myopes.
I had had a difficult week. My tile jobs had kept me hopping, and my boss was pushing me to get caught up. He even wanted me to work Saturday, but I had already promised to drive the 12 passenger super stretch for a wedding that day. So, during the week I had put in extra hours at night, and by Saturday morning, I was ready for a day off. I almost picked up the phone and called in sick, but I really liked weddings, so I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Out came the monkey suit, and on went the white shirt and black tie. I wear a neatly trimmed beard, and although my hair is thinning, once I put the peaked cap on, I am a pretty professional looking limousine driver.
I drove to the yard, and picked up the gleaming white super stretch. I headed for the address that I had been given to pick up the groom, and the usher's. They were all standing there ready for me, so I ferried them to the church, shooed them out, and went back to get the bride, and her entourage. When I went to the door, a very pretty, 6 or 7-year-old young lady that was wearing an exquisite formal gown met me.
"You must be the bride," I joked, knowing full well she was the flower girl.
"No silly, I'm too young. My Aunt Sally is the bride," came her reply. " I will tell them that you are here with the limo."
I stood around on the lawn, as I so often do when I am waiting. This is the worst part of this job, all the waiting time, first here, then at the church, and finally while the pictures are being taken. Tonight was going to be unusually long though, as I had to trade cars, and stick around to take the bride and groom to the airport in one of our airport cars once the wedding dance was over. But, I can usually catch a nap while the festivities are going on, so, along with a couple of movies, and a good book, I was well prepared.
The girls; no I should actually call them women, came out. I could tell from their ages that the bride must be going for wedding number 2. I was holding the door open and as the last bridesmaid came over to get in, I glanced directly at her face. Short brown hair framed a very pretty face, but it was her glasses that caused me to stare, and I am sure that my heart must have skipped a beat or two. Gold, finely rimmed frames held very thick myodisc lenses. I immediately fell in love. All the way to the church, I kept looking in the mirror, trying to get a better look at her. When we got to the church, and I helped the ladies out of the car, I was able to see that there was no ring on her finger. I was sure that this was going to be a memorable wedding.
The ceremony was one of the longer ones, and for the first time ever; I had slipped into a pew at the rear of the church. I could hardly take my eyes off of the bridesmaid wearing the myodisc glasses, although the distance was a bit far for me to really see her well. Then it was back out to the car to help the wedding party in, and off we went for the pictures. All the while my glasses wearing bridesmaid was captivating me.
Once the pictures were over, we went on to the reception. I had forgotten how tired I was, when the day started, and I was doing everything in my power to be as friendly, and efficient as I possibly could be. If she remembered nothing else about me, she would at least remember that I was very good at my job. I wanted to ask her what her name was so many times, but I was afraid to be so personal. After all, I was only a hired driver. And try as I might, with the divider up, and the music going, I couldn't get any of the names.
While the reception was going on, I went back to our yard, switched cars, and got myself something to eat. I love driving our airport car. Most limo companies use a regular car, but my boss had this one stretched a bit, maybe a foot or so. The soft leather seats, along with a television and VCR built into the area behind the passenger side of the front seat made a very comfortable place to be, while waiting for our clients. Behind the drivers seat was a pull down desk, and a mini bar with a little icebox, which was now occupied with a bottle of fine champagne. This was a gift from my boss, as the groom was a personal friend of his.
I returned to the reception as the speeches were ending. I wanted to slide inside and get a look at the nametags, but I was too late. The ladies that were serving were too efficient, and they had removed the nametags along with all the plates. So, I casually glanced around to see whom the bridesmaids were pairing themselves off with. Ms. Myodisc was standing by herself, which I took to be a positive sign. As poor as her eyesight must have been, she spotted me looking her way, and started to walk towards me. I began to panic a little, as my boss was very fussy on having his drivers stay away from the clients. She walked right over to me, and as she got closer I got a strange feeling of familiarity. Was it? She had thinned down a bit, and her hair was in a page-boy cut, and even with the myodiscs, I could see she had those soft, chocolate brown eyes.
When she was a few feet from me, she said: "Hi Brad," in a low and throaty voice. "You know", and she pushed her glasses up close to her eyes, "my eyes are not the best and in the car, I wasn't sure that it was you, until I asked Chuck what our driver's name was. Do you remember me?"
"Of course I do, Linda. I think of you all of the time," I replied truthfully.
This story continues here
July 2001, with special thanks to A.J. for another super editing job