The fake glasses- by Juan M.S.

Romantic stories are condemned to be uninteresting to people who have never felt some kind of strong emotion, but, for many, this story will sound familiar.

I went to work that day, as any other, trying to focus on the interesting part of my job rather than on the numbing one. A lot of Tao reading made me at last accept work as part of life and not to be overly ambitious; to perform to my best all the task I was charged with and not to betray the trust my colleagues had in me. In that way, although my job was far from being my dream job, I was satisfied with myself at the end of the day. To others was the task of thinking whether the work we did at my company was meaningful or not; I felt fulfilled as long as money was deposited in my bank account every month. And I used that money to buy products and services that were provided by other people who were thus satisfied with their jobs too. The circle was completed that way and I felt in communion with society.

However, I felt lonely. I´d never been outgoing or really funny and I didn’t compensate for this dull personality with my looks either. Therefore I was imbalanced; there were women who loved my sensitivity and tenderness, but I was never able to settle for them. I wanted real, sparkling, effervescent love, and not the conventional, sedate, laid-down one. So I decided to do something about it. Now, you need to bear with me for a moment because what I’m about to tell you may sound too fantastic to your auditory organs. Since my early teens I’ve had these eyeglasses with fake lenses, which I keep somewhere in a box and never use. These aren’t prescription glasses; I just bought them at a glasses store one day to try to look more intellectual, but I never wore them for more than an hour because they felt cumbersome. However, from the few times I wore them in public I know that there is something extraordinary about them. Whenever I wore them in front of girls I felt they looked at me with more eagerness, as if I were more attractive.

I never took advantage of this supernatural quality of the glasses because I didn’t feel it was honest to wear glasses without a prescription. I equated it to pretending to be blind or deaf, which could be insulting to real blind and deaf people. However, recently I ignored my moral qualms and decided to make good use of the glasses. I would see if they work in the long term or just superficially. I didn’t mean to use them to seduce every single girl I fancied but to find the one, even though she would be under the spell of the glasses and not really attracted to me. But I decided to try without thinking too much about the consequences. So I put them on one evening and went to my favorite bar. I must admit I didn’t feel the same effect I had felt years before, when I had worn them in front of teenage girls. Maybe the effect faded as girls developed their minds, I thought. However, I did see some pretty girls posing their interested eyes on me and even a baby smiled when I passed by it. Once in the bar, I took a look around and in a few seconds I spotted a beautiful girl, who I wouldn’t have hoped to ever be attracted to me were it not for the glasses. She wasn’t looking in my direction, so I approached her, confidently in the power of the glasses. And I wasn’t wrong; she looked at me with a look I’d seldom seen: It was the look of desire. She was even more beautiful from close up. Everything felt so genuine and by the end of the evening I had almost forgotten I still had my glasses on, but I remembered when we were saying goodbye. She wanted to see me again and looked really interested in me, and I would’ve taken my glasses off to see if maybe the effect of the glasses was permanent or maybe it wasn’t the glasses but me, but I couldn’t. I was already afraid to lose her. Yes, dear reader! I had just met her and she was already more important to me than reality itself! Yes, I was a coward! Yes, I preferred to deceive myself than to miss the chance of seeing her again! Say whatever you want, there’s no insult or injury which I haven’t thought of already.

This compunction haunted me during the days that elapsed before our next meeting. It was the guilt of knowing that I was harming no one else than myself; I was my own victimizer. It was a vicious circle that could only be broken by taking off the glasses, but I couldn’t; I simply couldn’t. Now I wore them everywhere, for fear of breaking the spell that kept her attached to me. I didn’t know exactly how the glasses worked. What happened if she saw me by chance in the street? Would she recognize me? Would she see my real self? Would she like it still? I didn’t want to risk it. We spent a glorious afternoon; its glory laid in its simplicity. We’d walked around my favorite park and then, sitting on a bench, I kissed her warmly. No fancy special effects that ruin the scene; only pure romance. Again, the hour of departure, and again my cowardice. But this time I couldn’t resist, my nerves were racking and I felt I wouldn’t survive the incertitude any longer. I took off my glasses in front of her and what happened next convulsed my sanity. The tenderness, passion and affection in her look hadn’t changed but she had changed. She wasn’t beautiful anymore but plain looking. It was another version of her, with less delicate features and rougher corners. The color of her eyes, hair and complexion was the same, but her silhouette had changed as if it were out of spot, as if I were looking at her with the wrong lenses. And that was it; I instantly understood it all. I wouldn’t go to the optometrist or try to fix my eyes. I threw away the glasses; I had no use for them now. In a second I learned to look at the girl in front of me. Her rough features became ever sharper till I saw her full beauty again. She was the beauty I had captured with the lenses of my eyes, and I was as proud as a good photographer can be.

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