Monday, June 07, 2004

The Future of Eyewear

When my brother came to visit me in San Jose last month, we took a little trip to the drugstore on the corner, where he found the best pair of sunglasses he'd ever seen. They hung lonely and faded on a revolving rack that had clearly been displaying the same glasses for at least 19 years.

The pair he zeroed in on were fluorescent yellow—faded fluorescent yellow—with a strange sort of ventilation device on the sides. They supported a fortress of lens that would prevent even the most determined ray of light from penetrating through to the wearer’s eyes. But the best feature, by far, was a faded tag attached to the center of the frames that read “Future Vision” in a 1980’s Tron-like computer font.

He had to have them.

“Hey bro, you did just have a birthday,” I said. “Put them in my cart.”

This was before I flipped over the Future Vision tag and discovered that inflation had somehow retroactively caught up with these babies: their original price tag read “$12.99.”

We nearly peed our pants laughing.

“For those?!” Kris asked. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

We went back and forth. I said I didn’t mind paying that, that I just wanted to see him happy in the way that only these beauties could make him.

He thought $4.00, the price on a nearby (albeit less exciting) pair was more like it.

So we took both pairs to the front of the store and pleaded our case. The counter man looked at me, looked at my brother, looked and the glasses, looked at my brother, and said, “$4.00.”

Kris beamed a victory smile and then turned to take the comparison glasses back to their rack. The counter man mused in his thick Middle Eastern accent, “He looks very happy now.”

“You have no idea,” I said.

Kris wore those glasses for the weekend and then carefully packed them up for his return to Hollywood, where people apparently share his aesthetic sensibilities. He’s been standing on street corners and had cars pull over, their drivers asking where they could get a pair just like his.

“Sorry,” he says, “you’ll have to go to San Jose.”

Recently, he was wearing his Future Visions on a street in Hollywood when a homeless man approached him and asked him if Kris wanted to buy the sunglasses he had to offer. It seems the man knew his audience because my bro snatched up this pair (brown monster shades with the word "sport" written in gold on the side), which immediately took top billing in his sunglass wardrobe.

Well, I’m in Colorado right now visiting my parents. They flew Kris and I both in, and Kris was kind enough to bring both pairs to share with us.

You’ll find us all modeling them below. Please don’t be jealous. I know it must be heartbreaking to realize there will likely never be another pair quite like the Future Visions, or another homeless man offering quite the same pair (for 50 cents) in YOUR neck of the woods, but I hope these pictures will be enough to bring you at least some of the joy we’ve experienced here this week.

1 comment:

monkeypoopsagain said...
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