Once in a while I hear someone refer to a “recurring” event or a “repeat” incident. When I think of something recurring I assume the span of time between occurrences is relatively small. A day, a week, maybe it’s a monthly event.

But ten years? This happens every ten years, and it’s a real nuisance because of it.

To me life is long. 10 years is a long time, after which things should be close to unrecognizable. No generation has left this earth without it looking vastly different than where it started. I could not have imagined a piano at which the entire corpus of western piano music is available at the swipe of a finger, or click of a mouse. Today I cruise the streets of New York like a traveler, without ever leaving this chair.

Do I have 10 years left? I am already on the precipice? One who should wake up surprised to be alive?

There is something I do more lately than I had nerve for in the past. It seemed reckless, even as I longed for its comfort.

I take off my glasses. This has advantages, which come with the obvious compromise of not being able to see 2 feet in front of me. A crowded subway becomes a blurry army except for those nearest. I lose sense of potentially creepy individuals moving in on me because I can’t see the drool on their lips or the gleam in their eyes.

I do it for the color. Color looks far more natural to me without the aid of corrective lenses. I’ve never had a pair of glasses where color looked the same as it does without the lenses. The lenses make color seem slightly sterile compared to their natural, uncorrected appearance. Everything seems more natural, not just colors. The blink of a man’s eyes, assuming I am near enough to experience them, seem differently nuanced when seen natively. I remember how different a woman’s face looked to me when the kissing started and the glasses came off. She looked years younger, softer, more vulnerable. Of course not all of this was the lack of glasses. There was the sensual anticipation, the weakening.

But it’s true. Colors look different, and I feel more primal without artificial corrective lenses. It’s too bad this comes with virtual blindness as a side effect. That’s unfortunate.

The ten year thing… My toilet overflowed once. Ten years later it happened again. This gave the landlord something to work with. Fodder. Complaining about the hassle it caused (even though I was not at fault) he indicated this was a repeat pattern.  I asked “Repeat?” He said “TEN YEARS AGO!” That’s a long way to go to suggest there is a pattern of me causing toilets to overflow, even when I was not the culprit. It just happens sometimes. Every ten years, right?

One of my key lamentations about this job seems to have erased itself. I am not especially weight-conscious but putting on 8 pounds was not a happy thing. Those 8 pounds seem to have vanished. I anticipate getting whacked from this menial job sooner or later. I don’t care. But my instincts say I should stick with this for a full year. That’s still an old-school benchmark that signal this employee is responsible and has a solid work ethic. One year.

I remember someone complaining about how a company offered him a $10,000 signing bonus, but with the caveat that if he left before one full year of employment he had to give the $10k back. He thought this was oppressive.

I replied that dude, you can’t just make a living off of signing bonuses, quit as soon as the bonus check clears and move on to another company with another signing bonus. And a year, I continued, is a pretty standard length of time to prove you’re a serious worker.

I am a serious worker. Today I am a very bleary-eyed serious worker. See how that works out.