Glass House

My world is weirder than your world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I'm aware that it makes no sense. Believe me, I'm very aware. Until now I've given up mentioning it online, even in communities of other unusual people, because no one buys it. I can be IM'ing with someone who claims to be pyrokinetic, or to have gills and be typing from a giant aquarium tank, and if I tell them I'm invisible they say "Pshaw, right." You really have to not see me in person for it to sink in.

The deal is this: I don't reflect or refract light at all. I can be heard, touched, smelled, and tasted (if you know me well enough), but I can't be seen. Brian, a former Friday circler who was a hardcore science geek, once showed up with a thermal night vision scope from somewhere and established that I do show up in the infrared spectrum. Go me. He seemed very relieved by this: "If you didn't even register on thermal-IR, then you wouldn't be generating heat, and I'd start to wonder if you actually existed."

So do I go naked all the time? No. Not even in Atlanta. But I can't do the Claude Rains thing either. Clothes that I'm wearing also turn invisible after several minutes. It's not a piecemeal thing; they're opaque, and then they fade out over a few seconds. If someone dusts me with powder or airbrushes me, it looks freaky for a minute or two and then it vanishes too. Hair or nail clippings will come off invisible and then appear after several days. This is how I know I'm a blonde.

It gets weirder. If I get a new shirt, wear it for a day, and take it off, it'll generally be visible a few hours later. But more frequently or deeply I interact with something, the longer it stays invisible. I don't know why, but it seems to have something to do with how much association I have with the thing. That's why my bed and several of my couches and chairs are invisible, and why I have one visible couch for guests that I hardly ever sit in. I have an invisible bicycle which I ride when I need to get someplace nearby. (I'll never drive, of course.)

The vanishing effect only happens when there's physical contact. My computer keyboard and mouse are invisible, but my monitor is visible since I never touch it. Otherwise I'd be screwed out of the Internet, and my life would be bleak and desolate. I'm extremely careful with my dog Aubrey: I play fetch or tug with him all the time, but I never pet him more than a few seconds at a time. I've accidentally vanished him a few times, and it lasts for days. There's nothing that adds chaos to a place like an invisible corgi tripping you up.

People? I'll talk about that later. Suffice to say that I can't just shake your hand and make you invisible. Even if it's a long handshake.

There's more, but I have other writing to get done. Tomorrow I get to go to court. Hopefully it'll be the only day.


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