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The universe hates me (sob!)

5 September 2005

Y'know, it's a funny thing: every time I say the universe hates me, people smile indulgently and pat me on the head and say "there, there," and never take me seriously.

And yet, I assert, the evidence is on my side. Take my glasses, f'rexample. My lovely complex engineered frames started to disintegrate at WorldCon - I may have mentioned this? - and so had to go into glasses hospital for a couple of days. Which left me wearing a spare pair of the previous prescription, and so seeing everything a little blurred, a little twisted. When I went to collect my healed pair, while I was waiting for them to be discharged, I wandered around the display cases and fell entirely in love with a new set of frames: Ferrari red they were, and sweetly lensed. But I resisted.

Then I brought my fixed pair home and started wearing them - and because I'd been hypersensitised by knowing that I wasn't seeing things quite straight with the previous pair, became aware that I wasn't seeing things quite straight with this pair either. Something has certainly shifted, in the few years I've been wearing these. So I went back to revisit the Ferrari set, and loved them all the more. And still resisted, because however much I need new glasses, I really can't afford ’em.

And yet, and yet: now that I'm aware of a problem (on the one hand) and tempted by a solution (on the other hand), it's just a constant in my head. Every time I look at anything, I know I see it wrong. That's no way to live, in a world where 70% of our interactions are vision-based [that's a statistic I saw recently; I make no guarantees of its dependability, but for sure there is a bias. Sometimes I make my students write a page of prose without a single visual referent in it, and oh, how they struggle...].

So I went back again yesterday, with a credit card and much more serious intent - and you know what? They’ve gone. And of course I can't remember manufacturer or frame number or anything useful like that. Gone, gone, gone from me.

So I come home trying to feel good about this, trying to think that the world is helping me save money, and if the cost is a little soft-focus for a year or two, so be it.

And today, I know not how, but I have scratched one lens of my glasses monumentally, a Great Barrier Rift of a scratch; and now that I know the frames of my heart are lost to me, nothing less will ever be good enough, and I am condemned to see the world blurry and aslant and scarred, and is it any wonder that I interpret this in a mildly paranoid fashion? I think not...

Meanwhile, I’ve been ill for a fortnight, unable to sleep or breathe; the chest is so bad, I'm even thinking about going to see a doctor. And it's about midnight now, and I was just in the bedroom having an asthma attack, and I had to sit down on the laundry basket and somehow caught the curtains as I sat and pulled 'em down, so now I have no curtains on the window and that's really going to help the sleeping. See above, under the universe hates me...

However, Misha and I do get one silver lining each: me, I've been doing a lot of work, largely on account of being out of commission for anything else; my first Taiwan novella progresses apace. And Misha gets to spend half the night very happily sitting on my chest while I gasp and cough and listen to the radio. She likes this.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.