Thursday, November 10, 2005

Out, damn spot

(Listening to: Hit, Peter Gabriel)

In case I haven't told you, I'm writing a novel. Ghost Runners, it's called. It's the obligatory semi-autobiographical tripe you'd expect, only with enough supernatural bizarreness to spice things up and make you question my sanity. Expect a finished first draft sometime in the next few months. (Considering both the rate of fire I've achieved in my first week of writing it and my general track record as pertains to deadlines, you may take "the next few months" to mean whenever you like. I'm betting on December 22, 2012.)

So, in the last episode of That's When I Reach for My Revolver, I revealed that Jason suffers from a condition called muscae volitantes, or "floaters." Little black specks in the eyeball, little spots that drift in one's field of vision. There are four or five possible causes, and no effective treatment. For some people, the problem is minor. For others, it's a major nuisance. Depends on your luck, I s'pose. You just have to get used to it and hope they go away.

I've got 'em. Have as long as I could remember. In the episode, Rebecca relates a story about Jason receiving merciless teasing as a child because he saw little "imaginary insect friends" in the sky. That never happened to me -- I didn't go around advertising I was any more different than I already appeared to be -- but the description of Jason's symptoms came right from my own experience. My floaters are numerous, mostly in my right eye. I can see them almost all the time, especially during the day, and they are always a major pain the ass. I spent so much time in Algebra class in junior high trying to get a good look at these little spots that I didn't pay much attention to the teacher. I failed the class.

Before I finished writing the episode, I found myself in a discussion with someone concerning floaters. They didn't believe me when I described the condition. They thought I was making it up. They'd never heard of it. "No way," they said. So, in an attempt to prove I knew what the fuck I was talking about, I added a disclaimer to the end of the episode that linked to a Wikipedia article that gave all the appropriate information. There. I'm not making it up. Fucker.

But then a funny thing happened. People read the episode. They talked to me afterward. They left comments.

I've always dealt with these things with apprehension. They were annoying, and before I knew what they were, they made me very, very nervous and afraid. And I certainly felt no one else around me dealt with them.

But as it turns out, you know who else has these fucking things? Everyone I know.

With varying degrees of seriousness, of course. But every single person that has spoken to me after reading "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" has said to me, "Hey, I have those things, too."

Now, considering that I had never heard of these things ever once before I looked them up to figure out why my eyes seemed to be deteriorating in their sockets, and I've never heard of them outside of that research, and indeed was greeted with disbelief when I attempted to spread the knowledge, I am now confused. I know the article says these things are common, but...come on. Am I right in thinking this is just a tad unlikely? If floaters are this common, how have I never heard of them before? (And in fact, no one else seems to have heard of them before, either.) Have I just happened to have befriended a number of people who share this condition? Or this destiny? Is this an example of that nefarious intelligent design I've heard so much about?

And, most importantly, why are mine worse than yours?

In other news, my Vampire 2025 chronicle is now officially the strangest game I've ever run, ever. Alternate dimensions are kewl.

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