04/30: A Pair of Eyeglasses

A pair of glasses sprawled on a dusty desk in the corner of the class. No one had ever touched it, not even the teachers. They said years ago, the smartest student in school sat in that desk. No wonder why he wore glasses, smart student and glasses are such inseparable things. He was so smart and usually made the teachers questioning themselves every time he raised a question. Some people thought he was a nerd, a smart nerd; while most people in school thought he was weird. He was not a weirdo; the problem was his thoughts were hard to be accepted by most students and teachers in high school, or perhaps by most people.

So how did the glasses end up on the desk even after years? Reputedly, on an ordinary sunny day, this nerd went to school as usual; with his ordinary uniform, ordinary bag, ordinary shoes, ordinary glasses, but unordinary thoughts. Something always bothered his mind along his way to school. That day, he thought about weirdos. He completely did not understand why people kept calling him ‘weirdo’ or ‘kook’. He did not feel he was weird, he did not think he was a kook, he completely disagreed. From his glasses, it was them who were weird by not understanding simple thoughts he asked, it was them who was bizarre that they easily put things into black and white category while most of them are grey. Everyone is weird but him.

He arrived at school thirty minutes before the first class was started, walked to his class and went to his desk in the corner, right away. Only two or three people were already in the class when he came, and he did not even bother to greet them. They were too weird for him, as weird as any other classmates he had. He sat on his chair, took out a book titled “Beyond Good and Evil” by Nietzsche and started to read. He still had thirty minutes to read the book. He was concentrating on his book when suddenly a typical smug handsome guy and his two fellows bragged his desk. He was shocked and almost jumped off of his chair, the gang leader laughed, followed by his fellows. It was fifteen minutes before the class started. He observed the class from his glasses, class were already full of people. Those weirdos already came including these three kooks who just happened to brag his desk. He stared at the gang leader ferociously; he hated those kinds of kooks who could not understand how important reading is rather than fooling around bragging people’s desks. It was not the first time the gang leader bragged his table but it was getting unbearable and the nerd had lost his patience. The gang leader looked at him with disgust, “And why are you looking at me with anger, kook? Uh-oh, I’m so afraid. Hahahahaha.” The gang leader insulted him. He pushed his anger away and successfully calmed himself down, but he did not stop staring at the gang leader. Unexpectedly, he smiled and calmly said, “Who’s the kook? Me? But excuse me, from the glasses I am wearing right now, you’re the one, kook.” His words slapped the gang leader’s face, it hurt his pride. A kook called him a kook. That was the most insulting thing ever happened to him, he clenched his fist tried his best not to hit the nerd right on his face.

“Don’t you think it’s a matter of perception?” The nerd continued. The rest of the class started to surround them. It was such a rare moment; the nerd brought the gang leader into the imaginary fighting arena. The nerd showed his weapon for the first time: his words, his thoughts. “You always think I am the kook, the weird one, the unusual, the abnormal, or whatever it is, you name it. That, my friend, only comes from your own perspective, from your point of view, from your eyes.” He stopped for a while, noticing that he was now surrounded by his classmates. “All of you might think that I am the weirdo because we think about too many different things. Maybe you wake up in the morning, thinking about what will you have for breakfast, what are you going to buy for lunch, and where will you go after school. While I think about questions that lead me to another question. Have you ever questioned about why do the religions exist? Why there is no such a thing called world peace on earth? Why do we have to study math while we are sure we want to be an artist? And this morning, I have this question in my mind, ‘why do you think I am bizarre?’ while I think you are the bizarre ones.” His classmates narrowed their eyebrows as if they could unify them. They did not agree.

“You do not agree.” He read every single face of his classmates and continued, “Neither do I. I do not agree if you think I am bizarre. Why don’t we try to accept this simple and not weird idea: ‘we are just different’? That’s it, period. No one is weird, no one is kook.” He learned all of the face around. Most of them seemed agree with what just he said. The other still thought about the simple ide he gave. And he stopped on that face, the gang leader. His face was different with others, his face showed the mix of disagreement and anger. He whispered furiously, “Shut your mouth, up.”

“Why should I?” The nerd bravely answered. He heard his classmates started to whisper to each other, worried about him. This time they were on his side.

“Because you’re a kook, and your weird idea is sicken me!” He talked in a normal voice with an unordinary low tone. He held his anger. The calm nerd was insulted again. This stupid gang leader even cannot understand the simplest idea he offered. He chose to insult him more than before.

“Oh, I am sorry. I still wear my glasses so I still can see it crystal clear that you are, my friend, is the weird one. Or maybe, I have to put my glasses down so I can see from your perspective?” The nerd put his glasses off and put it on his desk. The stupidest thing he had ever done. His sight was very bad that after he put his glasses on the desk, he could only see abstract things. But he had this overloaded confidence. He continued his words to the gang leader, “Oh, I see it now! You’re normal! You’re not a kook!” the next thing he heard was the gang leader yelled at him and he felt something hit his head, he heard a crack in his head, and the last thing he heard was the girls in his class screamed.

The story ended there. No one never really knows what exactly happen to that nerd after that. The only thing they know is the gang leader beat up the nerd with the nearest chair he could reach. And that day was the last day people saw that nerd in school. The nerd never came back to school, not even tried to get his glasses back. And his classmates who got enlightenment on that day, those who believe in what he said before the gang leader smashed him with a chair kept his glasses on that desk to remind that every one of us is different. It has been years and the glasses is still there, reminding everyone about the story, about the lesson. But for me, the lesson is as simple as ‘do not put your glasses off if you have a bad sight, especially when a powerful person is insulted’. I do not want to end up like that nerd. I do not want to spend the rest of my life sit on a wheelchair and easily forget about things, even the name of family members. I do not want to marry a stupid spoiled girl that was ‘bought’ by my parents so they could have grandchildren. I do not want to end up like my father.

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