Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I do windows.

Several weeks ago, whilst cleaning picture windows in the den, using what I’d taken to be Windex, I began to daydream, to imagine being done and off to something –  anything! – more interesting.

It was one of those dulcet coastal mornings with a light breeze, a gossamer haze off the ocean, and sunlight filtering through Sycamore leaves…big, floppy, smug-looking, patchworks of xylem and phloem that all too often, detached from their moorings, oblige drudgerous cleanups of their own.

Time plodded by, and my bottle of Windex slowly emptied.

Yet it wasn’t the growing ullage that got my attention. Nor was it the brazen alligator lizard that skittered past on the tan-colored stucco, vaulting to the flagstones below like a predacious little revenant from the Jurassic. Nor was it the lurid squeal of Michelin rubber from Frottage Blvd. at Chillido, or the whirr of a humming bird over my head, or even the sodden splat of titmouse poop against the top rung of my ladder.

No, it was the fact that my right arm had somehow gone through the windowpane almost up to the elbow, straight into to the den!

Yet there had come no jangle of shattering glass or clink of falling shards. My arm had simply passed soundlessly through.

From round about where the glass – or what ought to have been glass – met the skin of my half-inserted limb, there emanated an eerie blue radiance like the glow of uranium in a reactor pool, blurring the boundary between skin and glass, serving almost as a kind of gasket or seal. As my arm, nearly of its own accord, pushed further through the pane, the uncanny blue halo sputtered and fizzled as though the traversing skin were striking sparks from a vitreous edge.  

Yet there remained no pain or bleeding, no rasp of shredding skin – only a small sensation of warmth.

FFFFFFFFT -- I yanked my arm back with a start!

The glass, now so clear it seemed to have vanished, was still just visible if you looked at it from nearly edge on. As I gazed spellbound, the pane gave off a single sudden coruscation, jolting me alert the way a mesmerist snaps a subject out of a trance.

Such were the curious events that morning that stirred me from apathy and introduced me to what, on account of its provenance, I shall call glass~ix. What I’d taken for Windex, moreover, proved to be a species of liquid which, when applied to ordinary window glass, produced a most extraordinary effect.

But more of that latter.

To be perfectly candid, ever since moving into this house, I’d noticed something peculiar about the den. Events viewed through its windows, whether from indoors or out-, appeared to be out of sync – an effect like one of those TV movies where you hear the conversation before the actors’ lips start moving.

Whereas sound entered the den unimpeded, the passage of light through its windows was slowed – sometimes to quite a leisurely pace indeed.  For example, you might hear the lawn mower running yet all the while it was the sprinkler you saw at work. On one occasion, when inside the den it was merely late afternoon, elsewhere about the house the time was already past 9:00 p.m.!

Light refraction in an acrylic block. 
Courtesy, Fir0002, English Wikipedia
Glass~ix, it seemed, slowed time for what you saw but not for sounds.

Truth to tell, the preternatural passage of my right arm through the window pane that extraordinary morning came more as reassurance than bother. If the very light of day got no special treatment in the den, why should my arm fare any better? My senses weren’t playing tricks after all!

In the days that followed, as I tried to absorb this uncanny business, I made discoveries anew. Not only were solid objects and light effected by glass~ix, but so were one’s thoughts and imaginings – mental conceptions, of course, being just so much electromagnetism. Bad, muddled, or malefic notions bonked right off the glass or tended to get stuck going through, manifesting as vague smudges or chaotic whorls of dark and light. In contrast good ideas flashed freely by, exciting the blue aura in their passage and leaving the glass perceptibly clearer.

Thus, if one went about the den in a positive frame of mind, the windows became more lucid, and the room brightened. Contrariwise, a dark mood tarnished the windows, rendering them more opaque. Just as those tricky Oakley sunglasses darken in ultraviolet light, so the windows of my den dim in the presence of attitude.

As for the mysterious glass cleaner, glaze, polisher, what-ever-it-was – the stuff I’d mistaken for Windex – it had come with the house, its origin otherwise cryptic. I found it hermetically sealed in a repurposed Chock Full O’Nuts Coffee tin kicking about the garage. But Windex it surely was not. Rather, it was Medix with alcohol-ix, an amazing fluid that polymerizes ordinary soda-lime glass into a type of borosilicate matrix, namely glass-ix, not found in nature or even in stores (including Home Depot).

Though it may be surprising to some, I must confess that my encounter with glass-ix and its apparent progenitor, Medix mit alcohol-ix, has left me amazed and humbled – stronger in the conviction that all things are possible through faith in physics. But for a leap of faith, for example, I’d never have figured out the refractive index for glass-ix:

The best of it may be that by modulating my thoughts, glass-ix in effect liberates me. In the midst of drudgery and toil, it allows me to muse at great length over almost nothing at all, yet not miss out on the dinner bell.

I actually look forward to washing windows now!

                                           Amazing glaze, how sweet the sight,
                                           That saved a drudge like me,
                                           I once was blind but saw the light,
                                          Was bored but now I'm free.

If you’d like to partake of this life-changing experience yourself, contact me*. I’ll let you know when the windows need cleaning. Bring a clean rag and a positive attitude (no Cloud Nine, if you please), and I’ll supply you with all the window cleaner you need.

And, yes, its absolutely free.

*Individual experience with Medix and glass~ix may vary. Open to persons 21 years of age or older.