Phoenix discovers just how much of the world he could not see...
|"Hi, Phoenix?" Yes, this is Phoenix. "Hi, I'm Mike from the vision center and I have good news for you. Your glasses are here." Oh. How late are you open today? "Until 5PM." Well, I have an appointment at 1300, but I can come over when I am finished with that. "Okay. Sounds good. See you then."
Phoenix rolled back over in bed and covered his head, soaking in the precious warmth of the blankets he had wrapped himself in. He kept thinking that he should go to the vision center before his appointment with his case manager. His other thought, however, was that his vision center "appointment" would give him an out if he needed one. This would be his first meeting alone with the new case manager, and Phoenix had been worried about it all week. How would it go, he wondered, smothering himself under the covers. Phoenix was cold. He had gone out to have his taxes done early that grey, dreary morning and the combination of the wind and the rain had chilled him to the bone. It was almost noon. It was almost time for his appointment with the case manager. Phoenix decided to go to the meeting place early and study to calm himself down. The appointed place was a sub shop on Grand Avenue. The moment he walked in the door of the sub shop, it began pouring rain with a steady 40-mile-per-hour wind blowing. Phoenix hoped that the weather did not predict how his meeting would go. As always, Phoenix chose the back table in the restaurant to sit at, back to the wall, and alone. He did not feel comfortable in any other seating arrangement. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could be a funny thing sometimes. The case manager came in right on time and interrupted, thankfully, Phoenix's studies of graduate statistics. The two of them ordered their food and talked, the case manager asking many questions and Phoenix answering with surface-level information. It was the standard getting-to-know-you conversation that Phoenix was never good at. He was polite and answered to the level that he felt comfortable doing so, but ventured no further into the realm of trust with this stranger. He mentioned, too, that he had to pick up his new glasses. This gave them both a more comfortable out than randomly ending the meeting under awkward circumstances. Phoenix was glad. He sensed that the case manager did not mind, either. Phoenix left with the overall impression that the case manager might be okay.
Phoenix's next stop was the eye clinic. He left his old glasses in the truck and made his way into the clinic through the pouring rain. After a few minutes and another customer, the optician brought Phoenix's glasses out. They looked great, and they looked great on him, he thought to himself. The larger matter was his amazement at what he could see through them, though. "Wow, I can see the pupils of your eyes," he remarked to the optician, who could barely get Phoenix to give the glasses back to him for adjustment. The optician did a superb job of adjusting the glasses, and Phoenix was incredibly pleased with the entire process. Case and cleaner in hand, Phoenix strutted out of the eye clinic able to see the most minute of details and no longer had to look over the top of his glasses in order to actually see. As Phoenix drove to the coffee shop to meet a friend to study, he marveled at all that he had been missing and all that he could now see. "And I even look good!" he said to himself.
That night, Phoenix sat in his office and reflected on the day. He realized that it was not just through his glasses he had not been able to see clearly. His grief over having lost his case manager had made things fuzzy, too. He had worried all week long about meeting with the new case manager - whether or not he would be able to trust her, whether or not she would be a flake, whether or not they would be compatible at all, whether or not he would even meet with her instead of cancelling the appointment... He was not, at the root of it, going to give the new case manager a fair chance because he was angry and hurt. Today, though, he had seen that it might work. The new case manager might not be so bad, and he might give her a chance. He might even give her a name instead of just "the new case manager". Wendy. He might call her Wendy.