Swim Goggles Speak

Swim Goggles Speak

“I guess I’m not the most exciting swimmer you could have ended up with.” I rinsed my sunglass-like swim goggles, readying them for the return to my swim bag. 
“Wait, did you just talk to me?” the goggles asked. They were not used to being addressed except after, perhaps, a failure to properly keep water out of their wearer’s eyes. 
“Yes, I did. I’ve always had a tendency to talk to inanimate objects. I think it started with walking into door frames when I was a kid.” 
“I bet you didn’t say nice things!” offered the goggles. 
“Oh, I don’t know. I just sort of recognized that the inanimate things around me seemed to communicate sometimes. Rocks and cars and instruments talk too, you know.” 
“Well, they do if you’re inclined to listen. Or maybe you’re just a bit nuts.” The goggles smiled and did their best to wink but just fell to one side. 
“Or maybe it’s just fun!” I exclaimed. “Don’t you like communicating?”
“It’s not my job, really” explained the goggles. “I do what I’m best at doing and am content with that.”
“That’s better than a lot of us, you know. Contentment isn’t always easy to come by these days.
“Why not?” asked the goggles, warming up to the unusual conversation. 
“Many of us don’t feel we know what we’re really meant to do or be. People can be so many things that we sometimes try to be goggles when we’re really a cap.”
“What?!” cried the goggles. “That makes no sense! It wouldn’t feel at all right for me to try to cover a head and ears when I’m supposed to cover eyes! And I’m not perfect at it, but I’m pretty damned good.” The pride shone in the reflective lenses.
“You have a good sense of self,” I replied.
“My purpose was clear from birth. Or from manufacturing and packaging I suppose. See? It’s even on the label! It says I’m a pair of goggles!”
“Humans don’t come with labels to define us. “Sometimes other people label us, but they’re usually wrong.”
“Do they do that on purpose?” gasped the goggles.
“Some people label others out of meanness or ignorance. Sometimes they label with the best intentions but they just get it wrong.”
“You mean like calling apples pears?”
“Something like that,” I smiled.
“Have you been labeled wrong?” “Sure!” I answered, wondering how one could discuss such things with one’s goggles.
“What were the motives?” 
“Mostly good, I expect. But not always. Humans are complicated that way.”
“Goggles are pretty simple, I think,” said the goggles. “Can I help you with this labeling problem?”
“Oh, you’re helping just fine.”
“How?”
“By being yourself. By doing what you do. I like to swim and you help me do that.”
“Wow!” said the goggles. “Who knew that just being yourself could be so valuable.”
“Who indeed!” I gently closed the goggles in their plastic case, zipped the swim bag and headed home.

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