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2020-02-24 | Goggles | Pin Holes

Once upon a time there lived a man named Gear. He lived with his wife, Wing, in a small cottage along a big river downstream from a factory that made bicycles and washing machines. Both Gear and Wing worked at the factory. They would have lunch together and eat peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, and dessert biscuits. Gear greeted all of the visitors of the factory in a bright blue uniform for his job. Wing made the creases in the washing machine lids using a gigantic metal press. Each day after work, they would walk home from the factory, holding hands and talking about their day.

One evening after dinner, Gear decided to go for a walk along the river. He walked further downstream from the factory and stopped at a clearing in the brush on the river bank. The river was a muddy, grey color. Most everything was grey in their town, because the mud from the river would blow around in the wind and settle on everything, even the trees.

Gear noticed the edge of a box with yellow and green stripes on it, poking out of the mud. He pulled it out and rinsed it clean in the river. The box was made of tin with a rubber seal that went around top of the box, keeping water from getting in between the box and the lid. There was a hatch with a piece of wire twisted through it to keep it closed. Gear removed the wire and carefully opened the top of the box. Inside were twelve needles, like long pins, arranged around a tiny drawing of a sun, with rays that stretched out to each needle. The head of each needle was shaped like a tiny pear, and they were all different colors.

There were instructions printed on the lid:

Gear wondered if it was wise to poke his eye with some needles he found in the river. Eventually his curiosity overpowered his fear of poking his eye with the needle, and he followed the instructions exactly with the first needle. After fifteen seconds he took the needle out. He noticed that one of the rocks on the riverbank appeared to breathe. It was beautiful. He went home to Wing, and told her all about it, but Wing had never seen a rock breathe before, and told Gear he probably shouldn't be poking himself in the eye with needles he found.

Gear ignored Wing's advice, and every four days Gear would continue with the other needles; each time he saw something new. One time he saw color in the river instead of muddy grey. What was stranger was that the he always saw the color, a ribbon of bright blue and white, that wound along with the river. He would get distracted as he walked with Wing, looking at all of the beautiful changes he saw during the next two months.

He would talk about nothing else with Wing. He would describe the color of the river, the wisps of smoke waves that fluttered through the hair of babies in strollers, and how everything he saw would pulse with breath like what he saw with the rock. At first Wing was convinced that the needles had some kind of poison that was affecting Gear's brain, but after a few months she was unsure, as it didn't appear to wear off.

Nobody in town would talk with Gear anymore, because they thought he was insane. Nobody could see what he was talking about. When Gear told them that he had a box of needles that they could poke in their eyes to see the same thing, some people threatened to report his box to the authorities as a danger. Gear would go for long walks after dinner to watch the river, the bushes, the sky, and all of the other beautiful things that he saw, now that he had poked the needles in his eyes.

Gear felt lonely because he saw all of these beautiful things that nobody else could see. He put an ad in the newspaper to see if anybody else had found the box, but nobody replied. Wing decided she would try the box, and it worked for her too. Gear and Wing would walk even longer and farther together after dinner and talk about all of the beautiful things. They tossed the box into the river for somebody else, and lived happily ever after.

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