Left Behind


Cheap Nicaraguan sunglasses

Back in the van, I never thought about the sunglasses that had perched on top of my head after I pushed them up to see more clearly in the waning light of the darkening forest. The next day as we began our journey away from Albuquerque into the sharp Southwest sun, I searched through backpack and purse for the needed sunglasses.

But they were laying on the forest floor, mourned by me as we headed west. More than just protecting my eyes from glare and gleam, the prescription sunglasses give me sight into the distance.

Fortunately, in the university-owned van I found another pair of sunglasses. Then discovered they belonged to a student on the trip. He’d thought he’d lost them, but graciously allowed me use. Sometimes I perched them over my glasses if I needed to help navigate from the front passenger’s seat. That was five years ago.

I don’t lose my glasses or sunglasses often. I don’t like to squint through my summer days while driving or walking. So I take care. To avoid possibly losing my sunglasses on the snorkeling expedition in Nicaragua I bought a cheap pair from a street vendor. That pair lasted through Nicaragua but now lay at the bottom of the Illinois River in Oklahoma after a near drowning on a float trip about a month after I bought them.

Now I’m in the hunt for a new pair of prescription sunglasses. It’s been a squinting, sun-filled week and half thus far. My pair purchased after the misadventure in New Mexico decided to spend more time in Memphis than I did. Now, we are forever separated.

I wore them on a Friday as friends and I roamed the city shopping for bargains at consignment stores. The next day, overcast and rainy, they remained, I thought, in my purse. That remained my thought until I began driving home that Sunday. I drove out from under the clouds and rain and into the sun. I searched purse, suitcase and bags but couldn’t find my sunglasses. The hotel were my three friends and I stayed also didn’t locate them.

I’ve been praying for cloudy days as I wait for my eye exam as it’s that time anyway. But I’m wondering should I just go with contacts and cheap sunglasses or spring for the prescription sunglasses and hope they last me another five years? If I go with the sunglasses, I wonder where the next ones will get left behind.