LIZ: What the heck happened to your face?
MARGE: What do you mean?
LIZ: Have you looked in a mirror lately? The bruises on your face is what I mean.
MARGE: Oh, it’s nothing. That’s my badge of honor.
LIZ: More like a badge of horror. Does it hurt?
MARGE: Not a bit. It’s worth it.
LIZ: What’s worth it?
MARGE: Preserving my freedom.
LIZ: Which freedom? We have a few—religion, speech, press, assembly …
MARGE: Freedom from being told what to do. Freedom from being told what to wear.
LIZ: I must have been out sick the day they taught us that amendment.
MARGE: Guess so. I’ll learn it to you if you like.
LIZ: That’s OK. I’ll Google it. What else is different about you?
MARGE: My glasses?
LIZ: Right. No glasses. Did you get contacts?
MARGE: No. I choose not to wear my glasses any more.
LIZ: What brought that on?
MARGE: Didn’t you hear the new panic-demic scam they’re trying to feed us?
LIZ: ‘fraid not. I was too busy practicing some old-fashioned personal responsibility to go along with my personal freedom. It’s quite a heady cocktail. Shaken, not stirred.
MARGE: Well, get this. Now the anti-American quasi-science cabal wants us to believe it’s not just those clown masks that protect us from the dastardly Darth Vader droplets that nobody ever sees. Their new falsity is that eyeglasses somehow magically and mysteriously give extra protection against droplets for people who wear them.
MARGE: I read it online. It said a recent study found that people who wear glasses at least eight hours a day are two to three times less likely to catch COVID-19 than people who are not wearing them. LOL! How ridiculous is that?!
LIZ: I thought you didn’t believe what the media reports.
MARGE: Yeah, but this was social media, so I trust it. Anyhow, that’s why I stopped wearing glasses. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, the third time’s the harm.
LIZ: Sure, makes sense. You won’t wear a mask because they tell you it’s good to wear one, and what do those doctors know, so it follows you won’t wear glasses that you need to see because they are telling you it serves as a kind of mask for your eyes. You’re nothing if not consistent.
MARGE: Exactly! First masks, now glasses. What’s next? I hope they don’t say earbuds are good for you, too, as a preventive device, because I would hate to have to stop listening to music. But if that’s what it takes to take up arms against the oppression of the mask marauders, I will do my patriotic duty. Give me liberty or give me meth! No, that’s not right…
LIZ: So, no glasses. I get it. You’d rather be one of those things that go bump in the night, and keep bruising your face, rather than suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous medical advice.
MARGE: It’s a sacrifice I am willing to make for my country. I’m doing my small part to protect our First Amendment rights.
LIZ: What does the First Amendment have to do with wearing glasses—or wearing a mask, for that matter?
MARGE: The First Amendment says we can do or not do, and say or not say, anything we want—with compete and total immunity. That’s why I don’t need a mask. I’m already immune.
LIZ: I think you mean impunity. Except the First Amendment doesn’t say anything close to what you’re saying. Have you read it lately?
MARGE: Not lately. I like to read it early, when I shower in the morning.
LIZ: That’s odd.
MARGE: Not really. I have it tattooed on my armpit, so I can read it while lathering up.
LIZ: Must be hard to read it there without spraining your arm.
MARGE: Nobody’s going to twist my arm to wear a mask or wear glasses or get vaccinated or get spayed. No, that’s not right…
Liz: What kind of vision impairment do you have?
LIZ: I never would have guessed. I’ll see you around.
MARGE: That makes one of us.
LIZ: But can I make a suggestion first?
MARGE: Let ‘er rip.
LIZ: If you start wearing glasses again, you might want to have them tinted rose.
LIZ: Sure. Rose-colored glasses might help you see things a bit more brightly.
MARGE: Is that good?
LIZ: I think so. And while you’re at it, get a stronger prescription.
MARGE: I see. But why?
LIZ: It’ll help you see things more clearly—and truthfully.
Bruce Apar is a writer, actor, consultant, and community volunteer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 914-275-6887.