The Google Glasses

Fiction

by Helen Farquarson

THERE WERE AT LEAST 27 HIPSTERS who stopped to look when the young man walked out of the store with his new Google Glass. They gawked like children on Christmas morning—that is, homeless children peeking through the window of an affluent family's house and watching those children open their presents. 

He said, "Ok Google. Take a picture" and captured every one of the hipsters in mid-gawk. 

When he showed the glasses to his girlfriend, she said, "You look weird with those things, Seymour. I can't look at you."

"You'll get used to them," the young man said.

"I hope you're not going to wear them all the time."

"Of course not," he said. But then, although his right eye pulsed in pain, he went to take a bath without taking them off.

They went to Coney Island that summer, and on the Cyclone rollercoaster, she screamed in near-climactic excitement. She looked over and saw his face. It was placid, as calm as a Xanaxed Genius Bar techie.

"What were you doing?" she said after the ride.

"I was reading about the Cyclone. Do you know it opened it 1927?"

"Listen," she said, looking around and desperate for the destructive feel of cotton candy or a caramel apple rotting away her teeth. "Those glasses—it's like you're on vacation."

"Yes, I'm enjoying myself immensely."

"No, you don't understand. People on vacation are never really where they are. They're—they're in Pago Pago but all the time they're thinking ‘This is me in Pago Pago. This is my vacation in Pago Pago.' Do you understand? For them, there's no now now."

"I don't see while you're getting upset. We can watch the whole ride again later, without missing a thing. I bet you closed your eyes at some point."

She palmed her face.

The time came for him to propose. They were in the corner of a romantic Australian restaurant, which was dimly lit until he asked the waiter discreetly to turn up the lights a smidge. He turned to his girlfriend and asked if she would marry him—at which her ears began to well up with tears—and then he added, "Ok Google, record."

"Seriously," she said. "Are you serious?"

"Of course. I love you with all my heart and soul."

She was going to palm her face but decided against it and accepted his proposal since 30 was only four years away.

The wedding planning went smoothly for the most part, although he put his foot down about wearing the Google Glass. 

"We won't need a wedding photographer. It'll be much cheaper," he said.

In the end, she hired a wedding photographer anyway, an ex-boyfriend—something she never told her fiance—who said he would photograph the whole thing for half-price, if she would let him rest his index finger on her bare ankle for ten minutes.

During the ceremony, the groom wore his Google Glasses during the vows—"Ok Google . . . ." and she bore it. But instead of looking at his eyes and therefore his glasses directly, she kept her eye on the spot of his right temple where he was rapidly balding.

For his part, he couldn't wait for her to open his wedding present to her. He had gotten her a Google Glass display and was hoping to record their wedding night. He imagined both of them gazing with lust at each other, their passion captured forever on digital.

At the reception he drank some champagne and then he had a gin and tonic and then he had a whiskey sour and then he ordered a cosmo because he had always wanted to try one. It looked so bright pink he said, "Ok Google, take a picture."

A young girl sat at a table nearby drinking a diet soda. She saw him gazing at his cosmo, and when he almost bumped into her, she said, "You look like  a Borg," she told him. He noticed her then for the first time. He thought she was pretty in a pretty-girl-who-works-in-the-mall way.

"Resistence is /fyootil/," he said.

"I like to pronounce it /fyootile/."

"Are we related?" he said.

"No, not by blood, I mean. We are now, of course, because you married my second cousin twice removed. She taught me how to make transgender Barbies when I was very little."

"That's very interesting," he said.

"Do you prefer 'The Next Generation' or 'The Original Series'?" she asked. "I don't count the reboot because it's not really Star Trek."

"Neither. I'm a Whovian."

"What do you think of the new Doctor then?"

"Is there one? I haven't watched much new TV lately. I'll have to TiVo it and binge on it later."

"Are you going to ask me to dance?"

"I'm afraid not. I don't dance," he said, missing the sight of his new wife frenetically doing the Electric Slide with the wedding photographer.

"That's good. I was afraid you were going to ask me to dance, and I do totes hate the music they play at weddings. So cliche."

"Say, what did you think of the ceremony? I wish I got a shot of it from the pews."

"It was fine, really. Have you seen the video of the bride performing a Beyonce medley at her wedding? It was all over the Internet. I'm sure my cousin could do something like that, maybe even better, although she might have to do a bit of twerking. You should really check it out."

At that point, someone began banging silverware on a glass. This hushed the wedding attendees, who turned their attention to the bridal party table.

The bride was standing, radiant in tulle and holding a glass of champagne aloft. She was proposing a toast to her new husband. She scanned the crowd and found him standing next to her cousin twice removed. He was looking forward and standing very still.

"Honey? Honey, are you paying attention?" she said.

"Yes, dear," he said, still standing very still. "I'm right here."

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