The deceitful qualities of glass

A cup of coffee, combined with an overheard sentence fragment from a nearby conversation, can get me thinking in overdrive. This morning a woman is talking about her son going to a university where researchers are developing glass that won’t break. “You can hold a bottle of Coke at chest height,” she says, “Drop it on the ground, and it won’t break.”

In my own experience, glass, even everyday, break-when-you-drop-it glass can offer surprises and seemingly supernatural powers.

My office is in a three-story glass and brick building. All summer long birds try to fly through the glass. The same glass that I know costs $200 a panel, these birds, who preceded man’s existence on this planet, do not know it exists. It’s invisble to them. They die from broken necks.

There’s an old cinderblock, now-closed gas station south of the city. It sits along the rural highway on a hillside facing west. At dusk, even in winter, the setting sun reflects flame-red off the windows. It glows so warmly that you swear if you stop your car and walk up to the windows, you will look inside and see a blacksmith working with an open fire. But there hasn’t been a human in that building in decades.

I pay my coffee bill and walk outside the restaurant, now, ready to leave incredulities behind and face my absurd nine-to-five bill-paying existence. A car passes, one window halfway down with a dog’s head protruding. The street scene is reflected off the glass and the dog appears to be without a body, just a very happy, tongue-lolling head.

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One Comment on “The deceitful qualities of glass”

  1. delwin17 Says:

    It’s even more fun to let the dog drive and hang your own head out the window.

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