March 18, 2002

Nothing But Dots

It wasn’t until ninth grade, in Driver’s Ed., that I discovered I’m colorblind. You were given a set of cards with colored dots, and you were supposed to see numbers on the cards, ghosted between the dots. In most cases all I saw were dots.

At first I didn’t understand what this meant. I turned to the kid next to me and said, “There’s nothing on this one, right?”

“What do you mean, that’s an eight,” he said, tracing the number with his finger.

Even as he traced it, I saw nothing but dots.

first colorblindness text image

The number 12

second colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

third colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

fourth colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

fifth colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

six colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

seventh colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

eight colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

Six colorblindness text image

Nothing but dots

It felt like that dream where your teeth fall out. Holding your teeth in your hand, you know that your life will never be the same, because you no longer have any teeth. Except this was different because I never really had the thing I lost; I only thought I had it. Probably a lot of losses are like that.