I was sitting in the waiting room when I started to count: Phones and Frames.

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in the 10th grade. I was driving by that point— sometimes at night– and my mother agreed with my opthamologist hat I should have eyeglasses. My vision was affected by an injury I got at summer camp. But that’s not this story. With my first written prescription in hand, my mom and I, we went to the mall and picked out my first pair (one). They were silver and black, had round lenses, and gave me a new look. I was Eddie Bauer. I lost those pair in no time, maybe a month. Usually, when I left the house there was a pocket-check: glasses, wallet, keys, pager. But one morning I couldn’t find them. I looked hard but couldn’t. My mom took me to get another pair—thanks, Mom. I got the same frames (two). They were a brown but the same size and style. A few days later, well, I found the original silver and black pair, so I had a back up. I still have both pair those glasses; they’re in the top drawer of my childhood dresser. I saw them the last time I was home.

I took one of those pair—maybe both—to college with me. I wore them some, but didn’t worry about seeing that first year in college. I sat in the back of lecture halls; I didn’t pay too close attention.

One night in my second year of college, I flipped over a catwalk backwards and landed on the cement. I hit my head. Because of the fall, my eye doctor rechecked my vision. And before I went back the next semester my mom said I should get new glasses. You have to see where you’re going, it pained her to say. I picked out some new black frames (three) for my white face. They were oval, and I took care of them best I could. I started seeing better after that.

After that semester I got a cell phone to compliment my Calvin Klein frames. I went with the Samsung 8700 (one), and was told by the salesman that it was the Furby of cell phones.

A bit later, I was adjusting the sides of the glasses—they were crooked from me sitting on them—as I was on the phone. The person on the other end was talking but I couldn’t hear her. The side of the oval glasses frame broke in my hand. The earpiece on my Samsung went out. My phone was dead, my glasses were broken. As quickly as I had had them both, I learned for the first time that I could lose it all in a matter of an adjustment, or a telephone conversation, or a fuzzy trend.

A replacement phone was sent to me so fast you could say it sprinted. I singed up for insurance as if I knew this type of thing would happen. Furby insurance. I waited, however, to get new glasses. I could live without them, I convinced myself. Plain ole me was the brand new me. I struggled seeing what my professors projected and by the end of that semester, I knew if I was going to graduate college I needed new glasses.

So, I got new specs (four), a new look. But then I picked up this dog, and this dog picked up my pair of glasses and took them outside to munch on them like a rawhide bone. Another set of frames was lost. The day before I went on a road trip I got a new pair of glasses with my somewhat dated prescription. These new frames (five) I loved the best. They were the same brand as the first pair(s) of John Lennon-like specs I had, but these were different, they were more Buddy Holly than Lennon I still had the same phone at—the refurbished Furby—so apologizing to whom I left was possible.

I wore the Buddy Hollys for about a year, during which I got a new phone. What the fuck is a Furby? people would say when I described my phone. The joked wasn’t funny anymore. I got a new phone with new games and more minutes. I was set with my Kyocera (three).

But what good is a cell phone if you don’t have anyone to talk to? Then, my glasses broke at the bridge of my nose. It was another adjustment mishap; I don’t learn. Luckily, I found the same frames (five)—a slightly different shade—Online and had Lens Crafters put the lenses in for me free.

The truth is I hated my phone. Kyocera is Korean for crappy. I went back Online and fell in love with new phone. It reminded me of an SUV I had seen on TV, the Extera. I couldn’t afford the Extera, but I could afford the SANYO. I bought it (four) and got a factory rebate on the deal—it really felt like buying a car.

I had the SUV of cell phones and glasses frames that I felt comfortable in. I was single and I met new people who called me. This one girl started calling me a lot. I was calling her some, too. One night I spent there at her apartment. When was leaving in the morning I thought I forgot my glasses. Driving home, I wore sunglasses. When I went to switch to my eyeglasses I couldn’t find them. I picked up the SUV phone and called the girl to ask her to look around her room and under her bed to see if she could see my specs. No luck, she said. I could talk on my phone, hear just fine what was on the other line, but I was having a hard time believing what I was hearing. I couldn’t picture myself without those frames.

My prescription was too old, so I couldn’t just walk in a get new glasses. I had to get a new one, but my original eye doctor retired. I went to a new doctor and got new frames (six). I didn’t like my new frames as much as my old, but I got a good deal them. That said, my phone was working fine.

Not to detract, it was at this time I moved to Portland. On my phone I could talk to the people I moved away from and the people I would meet.

The first female I met in Portland would call my SUV phone, and come over late at night. I’d take off the specs I didn’t care for and we’d kiss. One morning I woke up next to her and put on a jacket that I hadn’t worn since I had moved. I put my hand in one of the pockets and I found my old frames, the famed frames I thought I’d lost (five).

That girl ended up removing me from her phone—another story— but hey, I had those glasses.

There was an ice storm that winter in Portland. I happened to go out the night it came. Luckily, I went out with my back-up glasses (six), and I left them the bus. I had the back-ups, the frames I loved, the Buddy Hollys. I still had the SUV cell phones.

One night, after I packed my bag for a trip I was taking I went out for a drink. I was riding my bike home from the bar and I crashed in to a parked car. I lost my glasses in the spill. But the next morning, before the flight, I went to the scene and found them. They were (slightly) scratched, (a bit) bent, but I felt lucky to have them.

The screen on my phone cracked that night and digital ink spread. I had to get a new phone (five), replaced later with a new provider and phone (six), an LG. Those frames finally broke for good—another story that takes place on New Year’s Eve—and I had to get new glasses (seven). Those broke quick, a stooge kicked me in the head with a soccer ball. I replaced them (eight and nine) with a two-for-one deal. And that’s where I’m at now. Added up: phones and frames, six and nine.

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