“Well?” Terrance asked with excitement, anticipation and a hint of hope.
“Do they work?” Denise followed.
“Have you seen the icky guts of all the lab rats by now?” Petra was a little less gentile in her questioning.
The three inquisitive friends sat around a round, laminate topped lunch table meant for eight and stared at their friend who was just coming off an important field test of his final project. Plastic trays hosted from-frozen foods quickly on their way back to be being far too cold as the group awaited an answer.
“I messed up the math somewhere along the line,” Simon admitted. His head hanged low with shame.
“Well, adjustments are to be made. It’s not your review panel presentation after all. Plenty of time to fix it up,” Denise tried to be reassuring.
“Anything we can do to help?” Terrance offered.
“Anything they can do to help. I’m archaeology. Unless your project suddenly involves dusting things off and filing out grant requests, I’m out,” Petra took a bite of an egg roll that had no business staking claim to the name.
“I’m not sure if it is actually messed up. I set out to create x-ray specs. To give doctors the chance to see into a patient without going through the costly and time consuming x-ray machine process. I set out to revolutionize medicine and change the very nature of patient interactions. Had this worked out, to miniaturize an important medical tool and give real time answers to anyone wearing the machine, good golly I would have saved countless lives.”
The three friends not reflecting on a life-time of studying gone to waste stopped paying attention to their food and hoped Simon would be okay.
“Simon, what went so wrong with the math?” Terrance asked.
“The math worked out to solve a different problem. You put these glasses on and suddenly you can see through every little lie people tell you, see through every faked smiled, every journalistic embellishment. I see through the very fabric that keeps our society held together by simple threads, guys, and I am freaking out about it.” Simon opened a single serving yogurt cup and starting eating it with the supplied wooden spoon.
“That’s an incredible downer,” Petra pointed out.
“Yeah, those glasses have to be destroyed or you need Xanax,” Terrance said.
“We’ll rework the math this weekend. I think you need a beer tonight though,” Denise suggested.
“Beer,” Simon looked off to the far end of the cafeteria that doubled as a intramural kick-ball stadium on weekends. He stared, unblinking, unmoving before finally responding, “yes. If in wine there is truth, then in beer there is honesty. Let us drink.”
“Well, in beer there is pizza so that’s all I can promise,” Denise said as the four abandoned their meal and went to forget the terrible result of Simon’s x-ray specs.
Thanks for reading!