One Night of Invisibility

My friends can use magic.

Some make conscious effort to do so; a sleight of hand, a string of words, or a mere thought, none that works. Others unknowingly successfully create it. While I have been witness to both, the latter was the latest.

It happened at a pizzeria. For two of us, it was the second time in the same day to have pizza and pasta. But that was the only place that wasn’t crowded. We couldn’t change venues. So we had no choice.

At first, the three of us were regaling each other with many strange tales of our lives in the city. The conversation began being peppered by medical terms and hospital duty schedules. Despite having grown up in a hospital, I got lost in the conversation. It was like a maze of stones and hedges. I tried striking, making an opening. But I could not, not even edgewise. I tried following the voices, where they led, where they turned. But I only stumbled. I could no longer follow.

Silence sat close to me. It whispered in my head, “Welcome.”

That was the moment when I began to notice. I knew I was my moving my hands. But I couldn’t see them anymore. My clothes were gone! I still felt clothed and yet strangely naked. My sneakers no longer left traces on the cold floor, not even squeaks could be heard. Not a strand of hair moved to the rush of air.

Maybe I could still make a sound. I opened my mouth. My voice had left me, just as my shadow did. But I am under a light—it should bounce off me! Shouldn’t it? It should. But it didn’t.

I have vanished.

No longer could I feel anyone looking at me, not even strangers. For how could anyone see the invisible? Could anyone see? Anyone? No one can. No one.

Yet—if one wants to—there is a way to reverse the spell, I believe. Names have always held their own power. Gods, demons, and other creatures were given various epithets so that humans could safely refer to them without invoking their presence or power. Speaking a name not only calls an entity into being but empowers that being as well. So when my name was spoken, it was like being violently snatched from the darkness, like sliding into a rabbit hole. But only worse. I didn’t know which side was the right side up. I was disconcerted in my seat. How many times in one night could I feel lost?

This is a personal plea: deal kindly with those who were recently invisible. It takes a while for them to adjust to light, presence, and being. It’s not easy to feel and know that one is visible again.

Being invisible is being thrown into the deepest, darkest depths of Oblivion, where a thousand white suns await to consume you to the core of your being, leaving you dry, empty, hurt. Only Silence talks to you. Neither shadow nor sound comes from you. And, in the moment that one realizes that he has been rendered invisible, one of the last few thoughts that would run through is that no space could ever contain you.

I wanted to run out, run back home wherever that was, even if it was through the rain.

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