“Well, you must be excited,” says the doctor, sitting at his desk.
“Guess? It’s your big day, young man! After all, it’s not every day one turns sixteen! And today we begin the journey that helps you ‘see’ the world in the proper manner.” Spinning around, he grabs a small display case from the credenza behind and places it on the desk. After waving his hand across two rows of frames mounted within, a sort of “nothin’-up-my-sleeve” move he’s made a thousand of times before, he pulls out a stylish black frame located dead center. “I handpicked a few frames based on the preferences you and your parents selected at the orientation, but this one is extremely popular with the boys at your school.” Leaning over the desk, he offers it to Johnny with a wink. “You might call it a sort of ‘cool’ aid to help you see things right.”
The young man looks at the frame, but remains still, hands tucked to his side.
“Remember, it’s only for one year,” encourages the doctor. “It takes about that long for the sensory optics to train your brain, thus providing the perceptual adjustment you need to see things the way they are intended to be seen.”
Johnny’s eyes widen and he catches Dr. Jones’ gaze. “Intended? Intended by who?”
“Whom,” corrects his mother.
Dr. Jones smiles. “Well by our leaders, of course. They and those before who have worked so hard to enrich our lives and country. You have to be careful...there is just so much misinformation on the Infoweb. Without the proper, uh, filtering, we might be inclined to see things the wrong way.”
“Filtering? Geesh, isn’t that exactly how we help THEM stay ‘enriched’?”
“JOHNNY!” His mother jumps from her chair. “You take that frame NOW. That attitude of yours needs to be adjusted, young man.”
“But that’s what this is, right? We’re simply being ‘adjusted’.” Standing, Johnny turns for the exit. “No thanks. I’d rather be my own person. We shouldn’t have to be told what to think, what we’re seeing.”
With the slam of the door, the doctor, shaking his head, looks across to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold. “I’ll be sending you the glasses when they’re complete. I’m sure you know what you have to do.”
“Yes...yes we do.”
As he watches them leave, their shoulders slumped, Jones pulls up Johnny’s report. He scrolls to the “Conclusions” section and, with a heavy sigh, checks the “HERETIC” box.