The GREEN GLASSES
little man stood in the doorway of the shop where Albert had worked for
years. Albert was oddly drawn, and wanted to talk to him, but there were
too many customers that day, and the day after, and even the day after
his surprise, every day the odd little man returned, and just stood
there. But Albert was not paid to solicit business. If the man wanted
something, he had to come and ask. The owner only paid him to stand
behind the counter, not to prospect for business. Yet his curiosity was
gaining ground over his natural sense of inbred employee carelessness.
forth day, the odd gnome like creature solved the problem, and came
forward to speak to him. Albert apologised for not being able to see him
on earlier days, and asked what he might be wanting.
“Hmmmm … me wanting, you think? I think not.” The strange
fellow said in a cryptic, heavily accented English.
“Oh dear” Albert said to himself, “Another salesman …
“I am not the owner of the shop. If you have anything you wish
to sell you must come back and speak with him. Or I can give you his
number, should you wish to call.”
“Hmmm…” said the gnome in a curious ton. “No it is you I
want to see. Or maybe I should say I want you to see? Do you think? I
think you need these (his hand reached into a pocket of his tattered
tweed coat and pulled out an old pair of spectacles) yes, I do think, I
do think you want to try them on, yes?”
gnome-like fellow was offering Albert what looked like a 1950’s pair
of Ray Bans, but emerald green in the lens and frame, rather than black.
Albert’s hand reflexed out ... Who had told the man of his passion for
collecting old sunglasses?
the Ray Bans were in his hands already, so what harm could it do? Albert
had always respected a good salesman, and this guy was the best. It no
longer mattered that the price was going to be high, these were the
rarest pair of Ray Bans he had ever seen. Absolutely unique and in
pristine condition. So he put them on … And for the first time in his
life, Albert saw everything.
was hard to describe it, but Albert really and deeply saw everything.
The sunshine outside was brilliant and sparkling. It came through the
glasses with joy, freedom and such a love for life that he forgot
entirely where he was.
wanted to call out, but the rapture of these incredible glasses had him
and all he could do was watch life move past. He was entirely and
completely transfixed by the moment as the once-was-a-gnome man slipped
past the shop window like a black fish moving into a deep ocean. The
world had shifted gear, and turned inside out. Everything outside was
brilliance and vigour, yet when he brought his gaze back inside the
shop, everything was grey, dull and banal. Uninspiring, empty, vacant,
insipid and boring.
simple shop boy had little to lose. He put the glasses back onto his
nose, and apologised to the customers (that he could no longer see as he
did so) saying he would be back in a moment. He stepped outside the
door, and was never to be seen in that shop ever again.
It was truly a world reborn. Life sprouted from every pore of his
existence as Albert realised for the first time since he had been a
child just how wonderful life is. How alive everything is … Everything
except the tired worn out shells of humanity that whispered along as
ghosts on the streets of gaiety and sunshine.
were like grey shadows, while the children seemed to recognise him, and
invited him to laugh and play and sing. Everything close to nature sand
with delight. The children glowed with rapture, and their little voices
were a choral symphony to his ears. Flowers exuded a romance, and their
fragrance coloured the space between the atoms with subtle shifts of
indescribable beauty. The very air he breather seemed alive and vibrant,
ringing with bells… Yet when a vehicle came past, the grey energy it
emitted dulled all around it, and painted that part of the world with a
matt grey. But the breeze would pick it up and take it away as soon as
the car passed by.
attention fell increasingly towards the dull grey ghosts that, once the
glasses were lifted, became people again. Children were exempt from the
contempt of the glasses. Their harsh critique was reserved for man-made
things and adults, though as he put them on and took them off, it
appeared that old people often seemed often to be OK. Why?
bought an apple from a street vendor, and went back to the park to sit
and contemplate. He bit into the apple, and it was an apple, but as he
slipped the glasses back on, a profusion of sense filled every corner of
his being. It was not just an apple, but an incredible proof of life
that coursed through his veins. Albert could see in minute details how
the process worked. The apple was life, and from it molecules of
iridescent light glowed a radiance through every cell that the atoms of
the apple touched. It enlivened his whole being while inside his mouth
was alight with the fire of truth.
them off, and there was nothing. It was just an apple once more. Put
them back on and streams of energy pulsated through his heart, bursting
like fireworks in his mind while his tongue tingled like the caress of a
lover. Even the sumptuous
clarity of the word “apple” rang true … He knew it in ways that
words could never describe. He knew what it meant to be APPLE.
he savoured its essence, he studied it, became it, lived with its
experience. He knew this apple, and like a window to a universe of
eternity he knew all apples that had ever been, and he could feel how
every apple knew he knew, and that somehow the apples both knew
appreciated that he understood their purpose and truth.
back of his mind, something was saying how in any other circumstance he
would have considered himself entirely, completely mad. Yet this
experience was absolutely real, as unfathomably true as it was
real than anything he had ever known. More real than any drug he had
ever taken. More powerful than any love he had ever known this deep
insightful knowingness was a being unto itself, and yet it was HIM. It
was all HIM.
exploration of the apple had led him deeper inside himself. There was no
end, no beginning, all was NOW. All just is as it is, was as it was,
will be as it will be. There was only the singular, even though he could
see the many. The plural experience of being here and being now
coalesced into a flow that took him inside every drop that existed in a
Sea of Freedom.
these vacant shapes of grey people walking by? In some cases, the
shadows themselves vanished, leaving only a dull scent that slowed the
flow of life as it moved past. Sunlight filled the void giving some
substance to the ghosts, yet the children were immune. Why?
some reasoning to this experience took hold. It was more like an
imaginative leap into something, but a something that created a reality
to anything it touched. Perhaps this power the glasses held could reveal
to him a message, something he could understand?
inner question the outer scene altered in imperceptible but certain
ways. The grey shadows revealed themselves as doubts and fears and
uncertainty. He heard whispers from the dark inside these people, he saw
lies that had been believed and which now ruled the mind. He felt the
anguish of loss, and the fear of gain. Anticipation in youth had now
faded to disconsolate expectation of misery on the misery, and all were
running in their own debt of self worth.
could see variations of this in all these shadows. Yet oddly the whole
misery and suffering they experience was usually pinned on just two or
three small details. These were the small false beliefs and insidious
guilts that had perverted the core energy inside these souls and twisted
itself upon itself. He suddenly saw with brilliant clarity that these
beings were Suns that had fallen into themselves and were now in the
process of becoming black holes.
as surely he saw that if he reached out to remove the pegs that held the
misery in place, the fire from that Sun would suddenly reveal itself,
and burn him. Albert had no idea how he knew, but he trusted the truth
of the vision and did nothing. It was all so clear now.
were rich in life, some old folk had gone past the fears, but the masses
who were convicted with the belief in their mortgage and relationships
and sufferings were trapped.
he approached the girl, putting the glasses back on, she too became a
ghost… A lost ship on an endless sea. A shell, a whisp, a nothing. All
attraction left and revulsion took its place. He was amazed he could
ever feel such desire one moment, and such disgust the next. It was
confusion. Questions began to emerge. Was he going to see life this way
forever? Would he ever meet someone who he could share these glasses
trust anyone else with the glasses? Surely someone would steal them, but
if he could meet the right one, how incredible would it be? Inside he
made a wish, a pact, a dream, an intent … and even as he made this
promise, he knew it would be fulfilled. What were these incredible
stopped once more’ He took off the glasses and asked himself what the
apple really tasted like. He bit it once more, and the normality of the
experience took over. Away flooded the brilliance from his nerves.
Normality crept up once more, and it confused him.
he put them back on, and the Green Glasses experience came rushing
forward immediately. Tantalising, rich, exhilarating and rewarding. With
no further thought he made his way back to the park to soak up this
passed. It must have been hours because night had fallen and a chill had
crept into the air … To Albert the eventide appeared as a flaming
sword of violet painting his body with messages of eternity, yet some
part inside told him he needed clothes. That was when he looked at what
he wore, and to his shock he realised he was living inside a grey, drab
house. His dowdy clothes reeked of convention, compromise, and lack of
self. He was truly astonished that he could have ever chosen such
unimportant fabrics, crumpled, drab and reeking of fear. He stank of
fear … Swam in it. He had to get rid of the clothes and went to take
stopped him … Then the light of a store caught his eye, and in the
window some beautiful silk outfits shone like a lighthouse. That was
what he needed. He had little money on him, but this didn’t matter. He
had life in his veins and he needed those clothes. He could not even see
the salesman in the fluorescent ugliness of the store interior, but he
could see the clothes clearly… They sang out to him. He didn’t even
need to try them on, because he could trust his body to pick the right
collected a shirt, a suit, shoes and socks, a tie, some accoutrements, a
splash of cologne and then left without saying a word to anyone. There
was no one there, after all, was there? Regardless, the glasses gave him
the grace and power to move through the fields of life like it was sand
through his toes. He felt greatness flowing from within, he WAS
greatness, a demi-God is such could exist.
deeply of the night air he flowed more than walked back to the park
where he found the fountain. As he washed in the water and got dressed
Albert was amazed that the thin light of a crescent moon could hold such
a lucid clarity that allowed so many things to come into sharp focus.
“This as a cat sees!” he realised, and with this he sensed the feel
of silk around his skin become as close and as personal as an animals
fabric sang where it touched his skin. “I belong to you” it sang
“I am a part of you!” The colour radiated into him, bringing an ever
more resonant pulse of blood through his mind. The scent of the
expensive perfume spoke of distant horizons, waiting for him. “I have
no limits!” Albert exclaimed, forgetting completely that only hours
ago he was a mere clerk in a shop. “I am truly free!”
that moment Albert had never known freedom, never tasted its
intoxication. He came to understand that he had been born for this
moment, and this moment was made for him. He had always instinctively
known of its possibility, and now could see why he was so bored with his
life … How long ago now? It seemed eternity since he met the gnome.
Who was that gnome? What a unique being… But then, HE was unique. What
was he imagining, Albert IS unique! Albert is the most unique uniqueness
that ever was.
was the starting point? Maybe he had been selected for some obscure
reason because he was the first seed to sprout? The gentle moisture of
the night air filled his being. It was all so true, so real, that even
when he took off the glasses the sense of perpetual being remained
longer. The dull conventional world started to look more and more like
the dream, and only now was he beginning to wake up.
all come to this point where Albert was the new cause, the new being,
the new start to everything. He remembered his earlier wish for a
perfect woman, the one who would resonate in harmony with his awareness.
A woman he could enliven, enrich and enlighten. Yes his body was saying
this was what he needed, and his heart, and his mind. All of him came
into accord with this single desire, and he knew it would be fulfilled.
the bloodhound on the scent, his instinct picked up the trail. It took
him to a nightclub, a seedy run down affair that looked shades of black
through his glasses, but away to the right down a darkened alley a
bright light caught his vision. A cadaver of drunks were playing around,
laughing, joking and more to the point … They were visible. Clear,
bright and present in the moonlight, they shone like bells.
was struck by the word “serendipity”. No fear contained him, the
glasses did not lie … “Ho!” he called out to them. They looked up,
saw the stranger, and suddenly it was as the light was switched off. All
life left them and they became grey, motionless ghosts.
this? Albert was shocked… What had happened? Had the glasses lied?
Were they false prophets? Then the thought came through, he was a
stranger. The drunks had thrown off the shackles of society and were
free. In their own worlds they were Gods, but the stranger called and
pulled them from their freedom so that they fell back inside themselves.
They turned back to ghosts.
whistle screams, aching his ears. Some kids are being held and searched,
and as the authority goes about its business, Albert sees the colour
fade from the children. They are learning to be adults. The police are
not dull grey like the rest, they are solid black. Soaking up the
resonance of fear their actions have created they grow denser and
firmer. Albert is watching from what seems a mile away … “POWER” a
voice seems to deafen him with an intensity of stillness. Where did it
black started to fade, and it appeared that the boys had no drugs on
them after all, and the police presence weakened, diminished and faded
back to the collective dull grey. The effect spilled out to the energy
of the trees and all life seemed to go silent. The drunks stayed with
their heads down, not making a sound. Each was shifting to its place
within the mists of oblivion.
needed a bridge between the worlds of dreams and reality. He must have
some certain point on which his life could revolve…
Was this how Jesus had felt, he wondered? Did Jesus wake up like
this one day, and did something like the Green Glasses happen to him?
But how stupid, Albert then thought. He had no power to create
miracles… or did he?
drunk lay in the gutter near where he walked. He could see the life
force draining from him. The man was dying. “What if I imagine and
place some of the incredible colour and joy I have been experiencing and
place it all around him” Albert thought, “Maybe this would help?”
So he allowed his thoughts to go to these places. He allowed the colours
of life to flow through his heart, to come out from the park, and into
the soul of the dying drunk.
opened, and he could look into the life of the dying man. He saw clearly
the bitter setbacks that put him in the gutter, the failed marriage, the
cruel backstabbing of his friends. Compassion welled up like a tide
within, and washed over all. Everything of the man’s life flowed past
him, everything he had done and not done fanned out like a deck of
eyes flickered, and for a moment the drunk looked up. He said nothing,
just stared, glancing everywhere and nowhere … and then it began.
Albert could feel it, touch it, know it, sense it, savour it. Life came
flowing in with waves of compassion… Slowly at first, but building
larger and stronger. It was the heart beat of some distant universe he
was feeling, and it grew moment by moment.
wrapped around him like mist, suffuse yet calm and beckoning. It crossed
the space between himself and the drunk, and started to glow. “Is this
love?” Albert asked himself. He knew it was, an essence so profound,
so complete that there was nothing else but this moment that could
like the edge of a vast ocean … Step in and you could be gone forever.
Albert knew he had to stand and allow it to come to him, flow through,
go to the drunk. He was the reference point for Eternity, the chosen one
and life had brought him to this place, this moment.
light flowed through the top of the man’s head, down into his heart,
out through his toes and fingers, then it simply broke through
everything. Like a paper lantern being lit, the man took on a light of
his own. He stood up, shining brilliant and free, transparent to the
divinity the flowed through him. He nodded severely towards Albert, and
then the man transformed into a beam of sheer luminescence that then
seemed to be pulled up to the heavens, leaving only a phosphor trail
Albert noted the man had left his body behind …
first time since the gift of the glasses, Albert was scared. He was
truly frightened, not by the power he had, but by what he might do with
it. The glasses fell off into his waiting hands, and he sobbed with deep
welts of pain echoing up from the confines of his heart.
sobbed and sobbed, not knowing why. He knew nothing, he was worthless
and everything he had ever known was gone. Anything he ever believed in
was now ancient history, filed away in some forgotten chamber never to
be seen again.
MOMENT IN TIME
there for who knows how long. The silk hung off him in the damn night
air. The silent birds in the trees still breathed, but the strange and
awesome fear of what he had been given had crashed through the prism of
his reality, shattering it into razor edges of understanding.
knew his power was to liberate the fallen, but it was not what he had
expected. Death was not supposed to come wearing silk robes, but black
rags. Death was a skull, a threat, a fear … not a visitation of life.
realising the horror of his situation, Albert went to throw the glasses
away, but they did not leave his hand. He could not even say if he had
still held them, or that they had held onto him. They just stayed there,
in his hand, waiting.
hissing wail of sirens broke through his reverie. A driver careers out
of control and sends the car into the river that runs beside the park.
Without even thinking Albert’s hand put the glasses on his nose, and a
deep whir of energy took over. He was propelled by some force that
flowed from his heart, and which brought him to the accident scene.
There once more, a man about to die.
more the deep compassion stirred up, and though Albert already knew the
consequence, here was his lover… Here was the Soul Mate he had always
yearned for. The flow began, running through him, and it was everything.
Immutable power surged and channelled itself through his being, and
wrapped itself around the dying man. The fellow looked up, and seemed to
recognise him, seemed to know him.
saw the fear fade from the man’s eyes as the incredible death came and
took him from his body. So peaceful, this drowning. So wonderful, this
experience. So blissful this sweet sweet moment. Away the man went,
leaving the disincarnate wreckage behind.
calling. A shot had rung out, a Policeman had fallen with a bullet to
his heart. The ebony black azure of power had left him, and the man’s
mortal being wavered until the moment Albert arrived. Seeing him, the
officer knew it was time to go… The power flowed, the ecstasy renewed
itself, the vapour formed, and the compassion took control. Such beauty,
such complete and total embracement.
day, every hour, every minute, every moment another call came through.
Albert now knew there would always be someone requiring his power, the
Power of Freedom. All about were people in prison, longing to be free,
and he held the keys.
thing to be given. Such a small world to be awoken from, yet now it
would be a bottomless pit should Albert ever try to go back. He could
not go back to what he was after knowing the exquisite taste of Lady
Death upon his lips.
world transparent to the divine, Albert was now the bridge, the calling
card for a new life … Or he should pass this cup? Was it really a
curse? Should he just give the glasses to another? Could he? Would he?
As if in
response an empty yearning stood waiting. Somewhere in the distance,
Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” was playing on a radio.
sweet Death awaits his answer. She is a patient lady.
CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE
Copyright Michael Wallace 2008
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