dark glasses

by malta notebook


Joan Didion

Joan Didion

But here is how I most often preferred to visualize myself: ... standing on the steps of a public building somewhere in South America ... wearing dark glasses and avoiding paparazzi .... I was standing on the steps of this public building in Argentina because I was getting a divorce. Hence the dark glasses, hence the paparazzi. I would let other six-year-olds (Brenda, say) imagine their wedding days .... I had moved briskly on to the day of my (Buenos Aires) divorce, and the black silk mantilla the occasion would clearly require.
— Didion, "In Sable and Dark Glasses" (2011)

I was reminded of Didion, as I so often am, while out walking yesterday morning. It was an especially cloudy day and yet I wore my large dark sunglasses. I pushed them onto my head to check if they were needed – they were not. In fact, it was much easier to see without them and yet I slid them back down to rest on my nose and continued walking. 

Didion is known for wearing sunglasses; even when it is overcast, even indoors, even when interviewing. She is afflicted with migraine headaches, causing "a painful sensitivity to all sensory stimuli." She is a notoriously quiet, even shy individual. 

I continued my walk and considered my own penchant for dark glasses. I feel exposed without them. My light eyes strain in even the faintest of natural lights. If I go out in the evening, I regretfully leave my glasses behind and quietly curse social convention.