I recently heard of a psychiatric disorder called the “Glass Delusion” in which people believe themselves to be made of glass. Turning it over in my mind, I decided to try flipping it around. What might it be like if somebody believed the world to be made of glass, and they are the only solid thing in it?
Here’s what came of it.
“I can’t move,” he said quietly.
“What do you mean?” I asked him. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s all glass, don’t you see? If I move, everything will shatter.”
I stared at him for a moment, then laughed. “Of all the excuses I’ve heard for not getting up and going to work, this one really takes the cake,” I informed him. “But seriously, you’ll be late if you push it much longer, and you know your boss is already ticked off because of what happened last week.”
“Believe me, if I could get up, I would.” There was a desperate note in his voice that made me stop smiling. “But I don’t want to break anything.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked him. “You’re scaring me.”
He smiled gently at me. “Don’t be scared. I promise I won’t touch you.”
“You won’t… No. No, stop it right now. Look around. Everything is solid. Nothing’s made of glass in here except the window. What is this? What’s going on?”
Tears welled up in his eyes as he gazed at me. “You can’t see it,” he murmured hopelessly. “You can’t see it any more than the rest of them can.”
He took a deep, shaky breath. “Because you’re made of glass too.”