by Isabel Hardwig
art by Molly Chapin
[originally published November 2021]
1. Tappan Square
My dad is definitely, super sure that he left his reading glasses somewhere in Tappan Square, possibly while he was “lying in the grass” and “looking at the sky,” which is an Ohio sky and therefore world-changingly different from any sky he’s ever seen for reasons that he was unable to articulate to me
2. The gap between my bed and the wall
All kinds of ridiculous nonsense falls down there, and my dad’s reading glasses are no exception! He feels very certain that if he crawls down along there enough he will either find his reading glasses or get to tell me some facts about moth eggs.
3. The Feve bathroom while receiving oral sex from a jazz instrumentation professor
Sometimes when you reach a certain age you need some assistance to see what’s going on down there, which is why my dad’s reading glasses are almost definitely in the second stall of the Feve men’s room, where he received astonishing oral sex from a jazz instrumentation professor during family dinner
4. The car, but not the first two times he checked
My dad’s reading glasses are definitely in the car. They weren’t there before, but they will be now.
5. His shirt pocket
There is something both beautiful and very sad about seeing my dad desperately pat at his empty shirt pocket, like watching a beautiful baby bird blindly opening and closing its mouth in preparation for a worm being fed to its ugliest sibling
6. The cornfield that he pointed at and said “look, a cornfield”
It sure was a cornfield, Dad, and I feel very certain that your reading glasses are in it!
7. Finney Chapel
While watching a capella, my father is constantly ready to make a runner if his a capella tolerance meter ticks over unexpectedly. It would be totally understandable if he lost his reading glasses in the rush.
8. The Mudd study room where he spent Saturday night
When my father was accidentally locked in the library over Saturday night, he hunkered down in a study room on the third floor. When we found him the next day, he had chewed through two of the table legs and had pulled up some of the carpet in order to conserve warmth. By that point, he had gone mostly blind from lack of light, so it’s totally possible that he forgot his reading glasses.
9. His Daylight Savings void
Twice a year during the lost hour Daylight Savings Time, my father is banished to the extratemporal void from whence he came, where he waits in desperate fury for the moment where he is once again released into the mortal world. He leaves his reading glasses here all the time and so feels pretty sure that this is where they are.
10. The other side of Tappan Square
He also laid down over here, so it’s important that the whole family joins in to search for his reading glasses.
11. “You’ll find them”
My dad has a lot of faith in the idea that I will run into his reading glasses sometime over the next four years, and has asked me to text him when I do.