Calm down, buddy. This is obviously not the outcome you were hoping for, but it’s an opportunity, not a defeat.
1) First of all, now I know that my glasses are susceptible to theft by squirrels. I’ll be entirely frank: If you’d asked me about this, like, 10 minutes before it happened, I would not have thought that this was possible. But, then, bam! Anyhow, now he has my glasses up in the tree where he lives. I think he’s probably messing with them, but I can’t actually tell because I can’t see right now. Moral of the story: Now I know that in the future when I’m walking through squirrel country, I should probably hold on to my glasses tighter or maybe buy some squirrel repellent.
2) It’s an object lesson in withholding expectations. I would rather that squirrel hadn’t violently ripped my prescription glasses from my face with its jagged, sharp teeth. But that squirrel has my glasses now, and there’s no changing that, at least in part because I’m really bad at climbing trees, and I’m afraid that if I take the glasses away now, he’s going to try and attack my face again. What I have to do now is, basically, forget everything I know about this larcenous squirrel and hope that he does the best he can with my glasses. Because we’re all in this together, and if that squirrel wins, we all win.
3) Probably, if the squirrel hadn’t taken my glasses — or, honestly, if he hadn’t broken the skin when he was trying to rip open my nose like it was an acorn — I wouldn’t even be thinking about getting a rabies shot right now!
4) This squirrel-glasses-theft incident is a perfect moment for an examination of my own faults. For instance, before the squirrel took them and put them up in his nest for his babies to use for teething, maybe, I had no idea how atrocious my vision was without my glasses. But now I know: It’s really, really bad! I’ve been trying to get my glasses back for five hours now, but I can barely even see the tree. God help me in an hour or so when it starts to get dark. Fuck, I don’t even know my way home from here. And just think: If I’d never been attacked by squirrels, I would have gone my whole life without realizing any of this!
5) I guess squirrels live in nests! Would’ve had no idea. Learning is always important.
6) Right before I came on this walk, I was reading the Wikipedia page for “Squirrels’ relationship with humans,” and geez, they called this thing all wrong! There was not one paragraph — actually, not even a single sentence — devoted to the possibility that something bad might happen if you stuff your mouth with acorns and wander into a well-known squirrel hotbed. How was I supposed to know? I guess what I’m saying is that the media is just as complicit in this as the squirrel itself.
Hey, what’s that smell? Woodsmoke?
7) Oh fuck! The tree’s on fire!
Jesus! What the hell is going on?!
Oh God. I bet I know what’s happening. I bet that squirrel started a fire with my glasses, like in fucking Lord of the Flies. I bet it just wanted to see the whole campus burn down! Why, God? Why?
Aaaggh! What’s that noise? What is that horrible noise?! Christ, that’s what squirrels screaming sounds like, doesn’t it? It’s like nails on a goddamn chalkboard! Oh God. I bet it had its children in that tree.
I really hope this fire doesn’t spread. Christ! The admissions building is catching now! Okay. Stay calm. I can hear sirens. The fire department is coming. It’s going to be okay.
Jiminy motherfucking Christmas, what’s that weird speck darting away from me? Shit, is that the squirrel running away? And … does it still have my glasses?! That little buck-toothed rat bastard. He did this on purpose. I’m gonna rip his fucking —
No. No. We are not doing this. We are not going to let this fire ruin our meditation about the ways that that squirrel stealing my glasses is really a blessing in disguise. Optimism and levelheadedness is what separates us from the squirrels. If I get angry, I’m just stooping to his level. When they go low, we go high, and all that.
We’re calm now. Okay.
I guess the lesson here is that squirrels have a better working knowledge of optical magnification than we typically give them credit for?
8) I’ve been assuming that the squirrel is a dude squirrel this whole time. For all I know, it could be a lady squirrel. So, this whole squirrel-uses-my-glasses-to-commit-arson incident is really about showing us the prejudices we hold, I suppose.
9) No. Officer, I swear —
Okay. So it looks like I’m getting arrested for setting fire to that tree and the admissions building and about half of Hillhouse. I tried to explain to the officers — who are just doing their jobs, I understand where they’re coming from — that a squirrel did it and that the arson had nothing to do with the fact that I’d been wandering aimlessly around that area for five hours, accidentally groping strangers and shouting seemingly nonsensical phrases.
But I suppose this is just another opportunity! I’ve never before had the chance to explore our nation’s criminal justice and/or institutional mental health system, and gee, when I woke up today, I REALLY didn’t think that that’s where things were headed this afternoon. But, again, this is informative, and I’m going to make the best of it.
Really, I should be grateful. I have that squirrel, with whom I may have some differences of opinion but who I sincerely respect and admire and who I definitely don’t want to rot in Hell forever, to thank for all these great things I’ve learned today!