My objective, generally speaking, is to disappear; my profession is as much a mystery to me as it is to anyone else. I’ve standardized my mode of dress down to eight identical shirts and two pairs of pants. I also have one “nice” shirt, but don’t get excited. It’s not especially nice. And since I wear it every time an event passes a certain dress threshold, its workhorse plaid never quite honors the occasion.
I have a friend who takes clothes very seriously. He was trying to show me his shoes once, I assume because he thought maybe I would covet them or something, maybe I would absorb some kind of spore and become a shoe person, which did not happen. I absolutely understand their power, don’t get me wrong. That simply isn’t the kind of power I’m after. I don’t want the kind that goes away when I take it off.
The one totem I allow myself is glasses, which are apparently so annoying that Gabriel has decided to let a stranger slice off part of his eyebulb and shoot lasers at it. He’s out this morning tring to This was one of those rare cases where “Gabe and Tycho” cannot serve as true stand-ins, as we both wear glasses. But the idea is somewhere inside the comic, morphed, via the inversion technique.
Robert had Lasik done awhile ago, so long ago now that he has to wear glasses again, which is apparently a thing that happens. He would occasionally wear glasses anyway, for their intimidating effect, which was powerful enough to work on me even though I knew they were props. He told us about the process, which he found beyond odd: the laser man talked to him the whole time his cornea was off, complimenting him on the brilliant color of his iris, now unencumbered by its protective scale.
He told me that story when I first met him, too long ago to even remember when that was exactly, and I’ve probably thought about it one or twice a week ever since: a man who is always in some way unsatisfied with the human eyes he sees, who knows that there is some undiscovered color beneath those shells, a shell he knows is easy, so easy, to pull away.