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i left the house at 8am, it was already snowing by then. not too bad, but the pace was supposed to pick up later in the morning. there was a blizzard warning advisory between 7am to 7pm. i was on my way to the mt. auburn area for my rescheduled routine eye exam. there was hardly anyone on the roads or sidewalks, a ghost town, most people having opted to take the day off or work from home instead. i was expecting more people at harvard station but it was practically empty as well. there was nobody waiting for the buses and for a moment i thought maybe the 73 was leaving from the upper track until i saw a man waiting on the lower level. the bus arrived shortly afterwards and i was the only passenger. i arrived at OCB cambridge eye center at 8:30am for my 8:45am appointment.

the last time i was here was 2 years ago, also in january. the receptionist was cranky, maybe would've preferred to stay at home. she took my information and i had a seat. there was one other person in the waiting room, an elderly man. i hung up my coat and made myself some tea with the complimentary keurig machine. there was a wall-mounted flatscreen TV turned to local channel 4 which was broadcasting weather news all day along with the other local channels.

a nurse named amanda brought me to an exam room. she did the brunt of the work, asking me if i've noticed any changes with my eyes, tested my vision, applied the drops, and checked for cataracts. i told her the only thing i noticed was my far-sightedness was getting worse. she asked if i took off my glasses to look at things up close, i said yes. she said as long as that didn't bother me, i wouldn't need bifocals, but she put it on my prescription anyway just in case. i found out they were leaving by noontime, and as much as they wanted to cancel the day, the headache it'd be to reschedule appointments was just too much, and better for patients to come in early.

amanda brought me back out to a secondary waiting area where i waited for doctor hsu. i could hear him talking with amanda in his office, he could've seen me right away but maybe just waiting for the dilation drops to work their blurry magic. i managed to log in to their complimentary free wifi (password: ocbguest) but spent most of the time reading children of time with increasing degree of difficulty as i was losing my ability to close-focus.

finally doctor hsu called me in. it took just a few minutes, no vision tests, just a quick look at my eyes, said everything was fine, gave me my prescription, and sent me on my way. back at the reception desk, a different receptionist checked me out. i scheduled an appointment for next year and she reminded me to get a referral for this visit and the next, otherwise i risk the insurance company not paying. she wrote out some info to give to my primary care doctor when i called. i also asked her for a pair of slip-on sunglasses; i probably wouldn't need it given how cloudy it was outside but better safe than sorry. and with that my appointment was over, 9:15am.

it took about 15 minutes for the next 73 bus to arrive. actually there was plenty of buses as the MBTA was still running a weekday schedule despite the blizzard conditions. there was actually two 73's and the first one pointed to the one behind him and kept on going. "what're you doing out here?" the driver asked me as i climbed onward the second bus. i told him i was going to my parents house to help shovel. i was the only passenger once again. we watched as the first bus came off its electrified railings and the driver had to get out and reattach the lines. little did we know the same thing happened to us as my driver had to get out and do the same. there must've been an malfunction on the wires because there was an MBTA car parked nearby to assist. after that it was smooth sailings. it felt like my own private bus and i was getting chauffeured to my destination. say what you will about our terrible new england winters, but bad weather tends to bring people together.

walking to my parents' house from the bus stop, there was only one other set of foot prints in the snow.