It’s cold in Vegas, and strange material is falling from the sky, a plasticky hybrid of snow and hail called graupel that takes a long time to melt. Meanwhile, I’ve humbled myself and purchased a pair of reading glasses.

I’d been frowning at fine print in the kitchen for nearly a year. Lists of ingredients and legal clauses would swim before me, just beyond the bounds of legibility, and I told myself it was a trick of the light rather than the result of the grey in my beard.

A few months ago, I was waiting for C. at the superstore when I pulled a pair of reading glasses from a rack by the register, and I was astonished by how much sharper my immediate world became. How else was I needlessly suffering? But I did not buy the glasses due to a potent mixture of denial and pride. There was nothing wrong with squinting. I was probably just going through a phase.

Yesterday, I finally purchased a pair of ugly reading glasses for six dollars, and I gritted my jaw and held my breath as I swiped them at the self-checkout station, bracing for a dramatic leap into middle age. Now I need to wear them.

On Flamingo Avenue, a stranger told me a fable about a traveler who climbed a mountain to ask a wise monk the secret to happiness. “Do not argue with fools,” said the monk. The traveler said he disagreed. The monk smiled and said okay.

And on the subject of foolishness and aging, here’s a thirty-year-old staple from my youth transformed into a glacial blur on the new compilation from the top-shelf Ecstatic imprint. I keep waiting for the beat to drop, but it never comes.