Glasses This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I rarely wear my glasses; things usually look fine.

I remember the day I went to get them; three stores and hundreds of pairs before I found the ones I looked best through; big, handsome squares with a tortoise shell frame. Like putting a seashell to your ear, you could look through these and see old, drafty houses, with old, drafty men inside, wearing tweed jackets and smoking meerschaum pipes.

Through my new glasses, things looked sharper, brighter, but different. I wore them everywhere: to Harvard Club brunches, social gatherings and circuses. Everywhere I went, people commented on how smart and dashing I looked. What's more, I felt above people I used to be afraid of. I could act fearlessly, because no one could touch me.

My glasses could even help my writing. I could look down from above at words made of ink, not part of myself.

Besides, didn't most famous writers wear glasses? Glasses of all different kinds, to be sure, stark, formal prince-nex, bright, modern ovals and rose-colored circles, but glasses nonetheless. John Updike wore glasses his entire life; in some pictures you don't see them, but then he's just wearing his contact lenses.

Then one morning, I woke up, without my glasses on, and looked around. It seemed to me that the world was somehow smaller, darker, and dirtier than I remembered. I'd started to forget I was wearing glasses, thought what I was seeing was all there was. Until either everyone or no one had glasses, I'd have to take mine off. I didn't want to, and I thought of wearing bifocals, but they're just two different types of lens.

So now I hardly ever wear them. Hours of staring at a blank page and I greedily snatch them, eager to find quick inspiration. Putting them on, I'm Basil Rathbone, storming the room in giant strides, the faded flannel bathrobe that serves as a dressing gown flaring at my sides. Then I can't fail; perfection is just the logical result, as inevitable and worthless as falling.

I wear my glasses so rarely now that my friends often ask what happened to them. When I tell them I just don't wear them much, they always suggest that I wear contacts. Of course, I explain to them that those are even worse. They're so small, I say, that you can't even see them when they're in, and you could forget completely that you're wearing them. Isn't that, my friends wonder, the point? What I need, I tell them, is a monocle, like the old princes and barons had, a monocle to cover one eye and leave the other the way it is.

"A monocle!" they despair, "no one wears a monocle. Where could you even find one?"

Again and again, after hours of like-minded suggestions, their arguments come down to one point, "If you really don't want your glasses, why don't you just get rid of them?"

I haven't yet. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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~*The-Broken-Hearted-Girl*~ said...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm
i absolutely hate my glasses and i basically do the same thing. i never wear them unless i'm reading.
 
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