5
min

Kaleidoscopic Keenness

111 readings

13

Please trust that this is the only escape.
I was born in a desolate city, plucked from my mother’s womb: a newborn stinking of purposelessness. A life destined to malfunctions of a haywire cerebrum and lofty misdirection. (Or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me I was in the process of being claimed). From the outside maybe it wasn’t so obvious that I, the Emotional Grim Reaper, Diffident-in-chief, Sullen-lipped Sulker, Heiress to Holes, had a gift (although not many would see it as a desirable endowment. It reeks of peculiarity). I was beneficiary to an affliction of the eyes. It could be possible that my great-great-grandmother whispered maledictions over a boiling cauldron and thus chained a motley of her descendents to a bubonic plague-esque disease of the eyes, dooming me to a (mildly put) lifetime of clarity and psychic astuteness. Or more accurately, a front row seat to the suffering of others.
At first, my unamused parents berated me for my attention-seeking stint (their words, not mine), but after my disorder showed no signs of halting they showed concern and prescribed medicine for my “ocular migraine.” This, of course, led me to a corkscrew-inspired downfall, of which was precipitated by false hope and a disdain for busy parents whose prescription included pills instead of affection.
And now an accident, which launches us into the world of ocular prowess and insatiable holes and healable bodily cavities and, alas, discoveries. But first I must detail exactly the condition that afflicts my almond-shaped, globular organs. I have kaleidoscope eyes. Before you roll your normal instruments of sight and sigh at this grandiose announcement, I should declare that to you, everything is as it should be: brown, rusty orbs concentrate on the top half of my face. Yet, these are a comforting illusion. An ordinary person cannot see my mirrors whose patterned reflections distort and morph into a fractured, stained glass mural. The luminous, freckled hues are deceptive, an optical illusion even for me. For these kaleidoscope eyes are my one and only formidable adversary, a hulking drainage leak that spills every last drop of gaiety until I am depleted of contentment.
The power to see in fragmentation, the rough edges of sharp, mirrored glass reflecting disfigured shapes! Yet, do not fall into the trap of hailing my visionary wonder (for what it is worth I call it the Prolific Serial Killer of My Happiness, and you’ll find out why soon).
So onto November 12, 2014, the date of the fateful breakthrough, a harrowing experience that irrevocably ended one of my internal debates. It was cold outside, and the rain had found its job of falling from the clouds onto earth’s floor delightful--and thus would not cease. The dripdropdrip echoed around me, reminding me that when things fall down, they fall down hard.
... Because of my affliction, I could see what others couldn’t: life engaging in an epic fistfight with death, each time losing the showdown. (Contrary to present-day fairytales there is no happy ending). To specify, my ocular fragmentation permitted me the ability to discern holes in the people that I see, where life once scuffled with the reigning All-Time Champion--and lost, inducing its self-immolation and thus causing the gaping crater. My multiplicitous vision uncovered the desolation of those who I had the misfortune of glimpsing at; as a result, I was a mandatory audience member to a marauding parade of pain.
Purpose-obsessed, I hid behind my brilliant, kaleidoscopic feat. Had I replaced medical definitions with a pluralized, ambiguous, lump sum of descriptions and more descriptions? Is this the burden to which I should attribute my meaning? Or had I simply eluded a monochromatic destiny, fated to an unmitigated assault of color and truth? (I usually refrain from ruminating such mountainous questions of which I cannot proffer any serious answers. But I feel that these deserve to be elucidated, so I will let them linger).
... Back on track once more. November 12, 2014. Guilt-tinted spectacles do not look for fallibility but find it in an unsuspecting victim. A silver tool bloodbloodblood and there it is there is the hole right in the center of his hand a hole a wide discontinuous rupture of a sorry extremity and a reflection in the glass tears from the kaleidoscope eyes. It is the discovery of the millenium.
On the rainy day--or was it snowing?--a little girl fought for the warmth of her father. She could see, not despite but because of her fractured perception, in him a chronic condition of dissatisfaction. He was the most hollow person she had ever seen (and she a close second); he did not have one hole but many--his body a crumbling home for the multitudinous black holes whose gravitational fields were so intense that no particle could escape (but nefarious habits seemed to drift towards). Life had been dead there for a long time.
She watched as her father laughed a hollow laugh, reached his quota for hollow embraces of affection, and lived a hollow life; the vacuity of his holes had left him the framework of a person and no more. Because of her kaleidoscope eyes, she was to bear the brunt of this crushing fact. (The rest of her family was immune to this vision, pushing her to the brink of solitude. It was from an early age that she had learned that the weight of the world had nestled between her shoulders).
The events of that night could not have been avoided. Just like me, the night was intertwined with fate. A young boy asked his father to assemble a toy plane (maybe he wanted to get away, too). A father complied. He held the half-built model in his left hand. With the right hand he reached towards a screwdriver. Brought the screwdriver close to the toy... closer... and then too fast, too far. The little girl and young boy watched in horror as crimson fluid spurted in an earnest rage. The screwdriver had impaled the hand of her father, entry and exit wounds intensified by clots of flesh and blood.
Her kaleidoscope eyes had seen it all. Her fragmented vision recorded the scene in vivid color. No colors except red the man was red with a hint of maybe orange and the blood was red really red and he was howling red but his hole was the blackest of black. Red and maybe orange but that black was the worst of all. (I now refer to him as the Fireman. Not because he puts out fires but because he ignites them).
There was also an iridescent blue. Tears of glass happened to fall down from the little girl’s kaleidoscope eyes as she observed the howling and cursing Fireman. Her glass shattered as it hit the floor.
She saw a chink in his neglected armor, a widening fissure that provoked an eruption of laments. But this was not the source of her glass tears. In that moment, amidst gore and a puncture wound on the left hand of her father, she understood the ugliest truth. Despite the externalized rage she understood that the agony instigated by the bodily cavity would never triumph the hushed emptiness of his black holes. (Temporary lacerations heal. Holes of the spirit do not.)
As I have said, this is the only escape. Born with the powers of kaleidoscopic keenness, made privy to the world’s problems through fractured sight, and discoverer of the collision between black holes and physical mutilations, I have tangled with destiny. Yet I admit that my eyes search for repose. My vision, plural and partial, has groaned at the sight of discontent. Years as an onlooker to trauma have entrusted my kaleidoscope eyes with the burden of silence. The encumbrance of such an ability has, in turn, made me doubt my own chromatic lenses: has this obligation authored my own demise, cracking my fractured eyes until even my own faculty to discern secret unrest must be questioned?
(In whatever case, I write this today to inform of my impending doom. Two inches away from my eyes I hold the rusty tool that once transfixed a left hand. A farewell is in order to my psychic spectacles).

CONTEST

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Image of c3chau
c3chau · ago
Very good!
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Image of Carmel
Carmel · ago
Intense story.
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