The Invisibility Factor

Ernie hadn’t always been invisible. Well, not really actually invisible. He had just felt that way, most of the time. Possibly, the fact that he was of average height, and had what could best be described as unremarkable features had something to do with it. He had pale blue eyes, sandy hair, and was of average build, apart from a noticeable potbelly. Pretty much an average bloke that nobody would notice in a crowd. Which happened most often when he was trying to get served in a pub or shop. It depressed him no end.

He once found a forum online that some other ‘invisible’ person had put up,

It suggested he had options. He could embrace his perceived invisibility, find positives in being unseen or unnoticed, just blend into the background, and become an observer of humanity at large. That sounded very much like voyeurism or stalking to Ernie. Or he could easily become more visible by adopting a change of attire, wearing loud garish colours, for example, sport an unusual shaped or coloured moustache or beard, or dye his hair some bright shade, or even wear an eyepatch. None of that appealed to Ernie who thought it was all a load of crap.

Then came the morning when he woke up and found he actually had become invisible. For real. Just like the HG Wells character in that book he’d written all those years ago.

When he put his feet out of the bed, he couldn’t see them. Or his legs that were supposed to protrude from his sleep shorts. To say he was rather bemused by the sight, or lack thereof, was an understatement. He was freaked out.

He cautiously lowered his invisible feet to the carpet, until he felt it, then got up. He couldn’t see his arms either, so made a beeline for the bathroom. He badly needed to pee as well, but first, the mirror. He goggled at what he saw or rather didn’t see. No body, just a tee shirt bulging over an invisible paunch and sleep shorts, standing upright. Nothing else.

He almost wet himself and hastened to the toilet bowl. The seat was up, luckily for him, as he had trouble undoing his fly with his invisible hands, but he made it. He watched in fascination as a stream came out of his invisible penis and landed in the bowl. He closed his eyes. It was just a bit too much. When the stream ceased, he didn’t feel anywhere near as relieved as he normally would have. Still, with his eyes closed, he tapped, then clumsily did up his fly. He stood for a moment, letting the enormity of it all sink in.

Waking up completely invisible was certainly one helluva shock. Ernie didn’t think it was going to be much fun. For one thing, if he was going to go anywhere, he’d have to walk around naked. That presented all sorts of problems. Ernie was averse to showing off his paunchy, pasty white body. Admittedly, no one would see it, but that didn’t change the way he felt about being exposed in that way. In this day of modern technology, sensors, infrared cameras and the like would certainly pick up movements and create serious problems with invisibility too, you’d have thought. If he was out and about, his invisible body would inevitably collect grime and dirt, and dust that would present an interesting sight for anyone who encountered it. Also, he would have to walk barefoot, which had no appeal. He’d be bound to walk on something disgusting or sharp objects that would cut into his feet.

And he was a sensitive soul. He felt the heat and he felt the cold. If he was out in the sun, presumably, he would still get sunburnt. He’d have to put on sunscreen, and what would that look like. And there’s no way he’d be venturing out in the cold without a cap or a coat. That wouldn’t do much for the invisibility factor either. What would happen when he ate or drank? You’d see everything going around inside his body until it got digested. Might be interesting for a while, but he’d soon get sick of it. Watching himself pee was bad enough, what would it look like when he had to do number two? It was a disturbing thought.

No, whichever you looked at it, the whole invisibility thing sucked big time. Then a thought hit. If you were truly invisible, you wouldn’t be able to see. Your pupils and irises would be invisible too! Bet HG didn’t think of that!

That meant he was dreaming. He wasn’t really invisible. Thank God for that.

Ernie got back into bed and closed his eyes. Soon, he’d wake up, for real, and go back to his usual much more preferable invisible existence. He hoped.


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