Man of Glass

The only thing that comes into my mind is that my deep grief completely changed me. I had been lying on the couch all night with the TV on, but without looking at it, nor sleeping, then I went to shave and before the mirror I found only half of myself.

My face was divided exactly in half, vertically. A clear line split it in two, leaving only the left side visible. Half forehead, then the middle of the nose, divided under the nostril, only one hole was shown, half lips, half chin, and everything in half. It went down the whole length of my body. Half of all of it.

For a moment I was scared, but I did not feel pain, did not perceive anything abnormal, and the other part was still there paying attention. At first, I felt it was invisible and muffled, but there was. It was like transparent glass. My right eye could see, I was not one-eyed, it saw indeed, perfectly, I had a right hand, I moved it. I did not feel much, but it was there, though it was also made of glass, perfectly transparent, elegant even. I moved it, sinuous and in camouflage, I was able to see through it as through the still, pure, water of a pond. It could act as it always did, grabbing objects, using them. Perhaps the only difference was that I did not feel the touch.

I stood looking at myself for a while, it was really strange! I was a monster! I did not know what to do!

My normal part wanted to scream in terror, reject the change, so drastic and unnatural it was; yes, the left part would have liked to analyze, investigate, and for example, it would have liked to see the other side to find if maybe I was so horrible to exhibit, in transparency, the internal organs and bones, the blood, the warm red stuff of which man is made while living, or the gray brain matter. Instead, I let it go, I did not do anything.

Maybe it was the glass part that soothed me, but it was also me, after all. I looked for a while, curious, but calm, and surprised by my own calm, then I got dressed and went out as if nothing had happened.

I noticed that everyone was staring at me. I’m sure I attracted a great deal of curiosity, but I chose to remain among them as if everything was absolutely normal, in fact, I was holding the dog leash with my right hand, just to look natural and spontaneous.

“Yes, my right part is glass”, “I feel odd, I almost have no sensitivity, but otherwise it’s perfectly normal”, “No, I do not think I will go to any doctor, everything will remain as it is: a new life.” I said this to the few who dared to speak openly about the strangeness.

People, you know they are not fair, but timid, yes, they are. As might be imagined, everyone became accustomed to all. I was the half man. I was “fascinating”, even “fancy”, but I did not allow the willing public to know me, I did not allowed myself to be made a freak. Friends were always same, acquaintances, idem, loves the same, too.

Over time, I noticed that my right side had things to say, that it was not a mere transparency, some kind of “reduction” of me, and I began to use it. Ahead of any difficult situation, before reacting the way I was once would have, I started asking my half of glass, and it was always coming up with a surprisingly original and wise point of view: to be detached from emotions.

A new love? “And what will it be? She is a person like any other, with her fears, her pettiness; do you believe you can distinguish between what you feel as physical attraction and what she really is in your life?” And he was right to think so! What is love, if not an illusion? An exorcism of our fears of loneliness. We have clay in our hands, and we build the fetish upon which we project our desires, our expectations. No! That person, as we see it, does not exist except in our heads. And in my left half.

A friend betrayed me. I was furious. I was always angry by temperament. But it was my part of glass that calmed me down and got to the point. “How desperate a person must he be, to betray a true friend like you? How great must his fears be, his frustrations? Do you really feel the need to be angry with someone who feels so inferior to you as to let you down just to clarify that it is not at your level? You must love him all the same, but from a distance.” He was absolutely right!

My job was wrong, just wrong for me! It had always been so, but its point of view helped me again. “The fact is that you’re not doing what you love! It is really hard to beat someone who does what he likes and loves, but otherwise? Here is what happens: unhappiness, poor results…” I took courage and I changed my job!

I lived more modestly, but I was much happier. Maybe happy is an exaggerated word, which is used too easily or too cautiously. Of course, I do not jump for joy, if that’s what one means, not an “agitated”, but I feel still and calm, sure of myself and crystalline. In time, my left side transformed into glass as well. Today I exist, but I am just barely visible, completely made of glass. I am elegant, without needs, without expectations, without rancor and pettiness.

Today I am the man of glass, who managed to be forgotten by everyone. I do not reflect anything in the mirror, and my mind is pure, my actions pass through the world without changing or affecting it in any way. And I look closely at everyone, but at the same time, from a stellar distance, without disturbances.

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