New Glasses

by dschapman

I bought new glasses. I tried to buy the same kind Jimmy Dean wore but there’s just something impossible about it. The ones I got are pretty close. I bought some cheap ones from the internet first, but they were poor quality and did not look anything like Jim – so I threw them away and ordered a new pair, this one more expensive. And this pair does the trick. They are too dark, and too round on the wrong side, but otherwise they are handsome glasses.

It is just a coincidence, I think, that I wear Jimmy’s glasses and style my hair like Jimmy’s hair and sometimes even wear the same clothes. It is accidental to my philosophy. It is like the old typographers and printers say; “Pick a type and live with it.” There is the best way to do something, and there is no reason to do it any other way. Besides, it is not like I look anything like Jim, anyway – even with his hair, and glasses, and sometimes even clothes. (When I am 30 I will cut my hair short, like Monty Clift. That is the more respectable thing to do. But until then I will be an honest man, and wear my hair a little longer.)

These glasses are good because they are very thick, and the lenses are good and heavy. Thick lenses mean the world gets warped, and the subliminal shape of a tunnel forms in your perspective; light bends, warm and golden, and the edges of your vision round up and then out of sight. This strange but familiar warping grows stronger, like a hallucination, until it feels like its moving, and I moving with it, and into and onto an oncoming future, or something new, something novel – a foreign object, an alien place, a vague and smooth temporal incline. I do not mind it, not at all. These glasses give me tunnel vision, and I ride down the tunnel of light until the sun sets, and then I go to sleep. Mama said there wasn’t no light at the end of the tunnel. But she doesn’t believe that. She told me she wondered what happens to good people. She said, “I was talking to a friend, and we were talking about how a good Christian should behave, and how good Christians go to Heaven. But what if you are not a Christian, but you behave that way? What happens to us?”

I told her that she was a good Christian woman just as I were a good Christian man. I told her that of course I did not believe in God either, but of course I was a Christian man, as that was the world that I lived in – the Christian world, and at its very worst, at least an Abrahamic one. We were all Christian people, and in that respect as well we were good Christians. She did not agree with me whatsoever. She said she did not even believe in God. I told her neither did I, that nobody did. But that we were raised in a Christian world with a Christian worldview and by that measure we were born to be Christians and good Christians we were. I apologized for being inarticulate and stopped trying to convince her she was a Christian, although she was a Christian. Unless she was some sort of pagan, or druid…