He couldn’t see them. He never had seen them, never was able to see them. He was born without eyes. Not even vestigial bumps in his eye sockets. He’d gone through life like that, garnering the stares of strangers — his ever-helpful brother never failed to inform him of that, in between whines about being stuck leading him around everywhere — hearing their little intakes of breath, feeling the pity rolling off them like tsunamis wrecking the shoreline of his defenses. He knew they were there. He couldn’t see them.
Eventually, he didn’t want to see them. Not ever. Not one, not a thing. No sunsets, no spiderwebs, no waterfalls, no paintings, no slim and beautiful women, no slim and gorgeous men. He wanted none of it, since he could not have it all.
Life irised in, like a shutter set at a very slow speed, closing, closing, closing. Less and less, narrower and narrower. Pinpoint. There.
There. All there was, was that one pinpoint, him. Him. All that existed. All that mattered. Him. The world? It was contained in his computer. Words on a screen, read to him mechanically, emotionless. Interaction? Typed on a keyboard. Goods and services ordered and paid for online, left on his doorstep with a knock.
All there was, was him.
And then he forgot completely about the others. They weren’t real, had never been real, and now they were even less real. Stories he told himself, he finally decided, things he made up before he was old enough, mature enough to see the truth, to handle knowing the truth.
All there had ever been was him.
And with a yawn, Jehovah spoke. “Let there be light.” And there was.