BLINK AND THINK
Johnny hadn’t quite gotten the knack of the contact lenses yet. He was thinking about the girls in his class again, and how unattractive they were.
Not unattractive in the conventional sense, as if they had buck teeth, or features that were cratered with acne and too many freckles, but unattractive in the sense of morality.
These were the girls you would entrust your deepest secrets to out of some cocky notion they would take pity on a nice guy and turn to you in understanding, but all they do is turn the information loose on their friends, or their jock boyfriends who’d wait patiently for you outside the school gates and taunt you mercilessly with the information as you crossed the road, complete with their judgement.
You’d get half-way across the road with your darkest secret being thrown back in your ear, and you’d be compelled to stop dead in your tracks and hope the approaching school bus carrying all who were in kindergarten would mow you over and give the little devils it was carrying their first glimpse of the cost of mortality up close.
He wanted to punish those girls for not being the kind that would stand by the nice guys in the class, the ones that could stay equal and independent of them, but have the compassion and kindness necessary to be open to dates, to maybe even marriage, and maybe even a family.
Too many women in his generation weren’t functioning the way his mother did in her marriage to his father. He had been raised by a family that had lived in conservative times that had been graced only by the tender innocence of then-radical innovation. Ideas of how the world ought to function differently, but ones that had not taken on any form of chaotic exaggeration or had helped to bend too many rules.
This was an age where the nice guys were tarred and feathered, and mocked for their insecurities, not helped through them.
But then, maybe the nice guys had earned it.
Nice guy is often an easily used term to describe the shy, the needy, the socially awkward, the helpless, and too many strong-willed women, at least the ones in his class, didn’t take to that. Maybe it was an age-old story God got nostalgic for and applied it to each generation, Johnny didn’t know, he was only fourteen.
He was fourteen and thinking way too much about anything but the lesson being taught to him, the lessons about the contact lenses attached to his pupils.
In today’s age of radical thought and radical behavior, learning the nature of these lenses was key to maintaining an ever rare prescense of dignity.
The nice guys now needn’t tell any jock’s girlfriend their private info out of some desire to be noticed, even loved, now all they had to do was blink and think, and it would all be downloaded onto the lenses, the glass also functioning as a clear micro server, a cloud drive with which all that was conjured forth in the mind during the lesson would be stored.
That would include revision, research, answers, questions the student didn’t have the motivation or drive to really ask of the tutor, and of course slightly more wayward thoughts.
It was often agreed upon in the testing stages that the lenses being open to all thoughts would lead to a significantly more focused form of think tank, where the dangers of having their dirty laundry processed would encourage students to be of a more strict and educationally focused mindset, with no room for filth in their thoughts.
If they persisted, the information would be collectively gathered from the lenses, uploaded to the computers in the staffing area, and each potentially devious and damaging thought would be noted down and put in a permanent record which would be issued to every other educational facility and job agency far across the country.
It seemed like an unfair and demanding task, one the students had no control over, but there was some quality of mercy attached to this insistence on a more strict and uniform collective.
The required information would be processed and separated through the right and left lenses, representing the left and right centers of the brain, which also process problem solving, logistics, and more creative and self-pleasing thoughts separately.
As the bell rang, the teacher instructed the student body to remove the contacts they were wearing and place them in the boxes, which would then be gathered by a choice pupil. The class would then move on to another room where they would undergo the same process for that specific tutor and subject, and repeat the process through all available periods until the end of the day’s school session.
This was the first day, the first hour, and the first moment of truth for Johnny.
He had been processing much of the lesson despite constantly thinking about the abhorrent actions of women among the student body, but he worried that his thoughts would be regarded as controversial, he wasn’t quite sure how to feel.
He nervously walked up to the intimidating cardboard boxes at the edge of the Tutor’s table, watching as the rest of the boys and girls removed their lenses and deposited them in the left and right versions.
Johnny was in a particular pickle here, and with good reason.
He could never tell left from right.
A friend of his chose this opportunity to pat him on the back with a gently slap that knocked both of his lenses into the left box.
A student in the class was summoned to take the boxes to the staffing area, to Johnny’s dismay, it was one of the girls.
“Hey wait up, I want to check if I put the lenses in the correct box” Johnny said to the girl as she left the classroom.
“You’re Johnny Spencer aren’t you?” the girl said as she skipped merrily along, Johnny trying to keep up with her.
Johnny looked in the box, on the lenses were little nuggets of binary code, the same row of numbers except for the final digit, the digit represented the student number on the class roster roll-call sheet.
“Don’t worry, just tell me what number you are and I’ll fish it out” the girl said.
“Ok, twelve” he said.
“There, that was easy” she said.
“I’m a bit worried…my thoughts on there, some of them aren’t pleasant” he said
“Neither were mine” the girl replied, telling Johnny how all she could think of was making love to a German footballer she’d saw plastered all over the back end of the express newspaper.
“See? Everyone’s dirty laundry is on the left side lenses, not just silly boys” she said, “It’s equal footing for everyone, nobody has any secrets, not from them, so we all have to be on our best behavior, and it doesn’t have to seen as slavery, or being forced to think more collectively, we can use this opportunity to build character, morals, strength, conviction, and maybe make a better choice when sharing our pleasures with those we love”
Johnny grinned, perhaps there were still some girls out there getting it right.
“I’m no German footballer, but maybe we could score sometime” he thought to himself, glad that the lenses were off so the girl wouldn’t pick up on that.
“Tell me what you’re thinking anytime” thought the girl back.
Locked away in their private thoughts, finding freedom in the ten or so minutes they could enjoy between classes, the two of them chatted away in as appropriate a manner as social norms allowed.