A week ago, I was at a friend’s house watching some movies and TV sitcoms. C. wanted to show me what a Blue Ray movie looked like on his flat screen TV. To say that I was stunned would be below an understatement. We watched the beginning of the movie, Angels and Demons, and I had never seen such details before, neither on screen or off. Prior to the movie, we were watching the sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, on DVD and I noticed more distance between the sidewalk and buidlings than I had ever seen before on screen. Why was I seeing this on screen and not in real life?

C. explained to me the difference between movie theater screens, regular TVs, DVDs and Blue Ray, but no matter how much description he provided, I was still in shock.

Actually, I was sad.

Yes, sad. I had seen Angels and Demons a year prior on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Doha, Qatar. A week ago, I was at a friend’s house watching some movies and TV sitcoms. C. wanted to show me what a Blu Ray movie looked like on his flat screen TV. To say that I was stunned would be below an understatement. We watched the beginning of the movie, Angels and Demons, and I had never seen such details before, neither on screen or off. Prior to the movie, we were watching the sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, on DVD and I noticed more distance between the sidewalk and buildings than I had ever seen before on screen. Why was I seeing this on screen and not in real life?
C. explained to me the difference between movie theater screens, regular TVs, DVDs and Blue Ray, but no matter how much description he provided, I was still in shock.
Actually, I was sad.
Yes, sad. I had seen Angels and Demons a year prior on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Doha, Qatar. Of course, the small screen on the airplane wasn’t as good as seeing the movie at a movie theater, but I had never seen such a contrast of image quality as I had on C’s Blue Ray of Angels and Demons. If Blu Ray is the closest technology has come to showing real life, than I have been missing out on a lot my entire life. I was sad because I had never before been able to imagine what it was that I was missing. When 3D people ask me what it’s like to see in 2D compared to how they see, it’s a stupid question. How can I explain how I see to someone who sees in a way that I can’t even begin to fathom? As Dr. Oliver Sacks stated in his article, “Stereo Sue” in The New Yorker, explaining 3D vision to someone who is stereoblind is like explaining color to a blind person. It’s easier for a stereo-visual person to imagine life on my side of the 2D-3D border than I can.

C. and I had previously been speaking in Spanish, but I think I had to explain my shock to him in English. It was late and the emotions were so strong that I didn’t know if they would come out correctly in another tongue.

“But doesn’t think make you happy that you can now appreciate something you’ve never seen before?” C asked. 

“I know it seems strange to you that this saddens me as I should be rejoicing at my newfound ability to see this clearly, but it actually makes me upset.”

The following day, I told this to a friend and she also thought that I should be happy. 

I know what the “logical” reaction is: happiness at a positive change in vision. But sometimes, the mind does not act logically. 

A few days before my Blue Ray discovery, I was eating a burrito at a Mexican restaurant on the coast and I was staring at the napkin holder. I had never seen napkins before with detailed undulating texture like that of an orange peel. Perhaps I had never seen this particular brand of restaurant napkins before, but I had eaten at the same restaurant a year before and I definitely wasn’t staring at the napkins in awe of their deep design. I can’t imagine that there is such a variety of restaurant napkins that I had never used this particular kind previously. I realized that my vision was changing and I could see more in-depth.

It’s strange for me to say that I see clearer now than before because my vision never seemed unclear or shallow before. I saw what I saw. It wasn’t blurry. It was what it was. So now to say that it’s clearer is like saying that what I had previously was unclear. But it wasn’t.

I just looked up to the overhang coming from the roof and I notice the texture on the pink painted wood. I never noticed it before although I had probably seen it many times. It’s odd to stare at things I’ve seen many times and see them anew, wondering about what is different. Most of the time, I have no words to describe how something has changed as I can’t put my finger on it.

Unfortunately, I do notice more wrinkles on peoples’ faces, not my own of course!

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