I lie in bed and listen to the ringing in my ears.

It’s a sharp and constant frequency that feels like it’s coming from somewhere higher in the left ear than it is in the right, the two points connecting, the line a buzzsaw cutting through my head.

Tinnitus. That’s the name for the condition. Only it’s a weird condition – for me, at least.

A doctor at the Royal Ear and Eye Hospital examined my ears and hearing years ago, and said they were fine. He posed that I might’ve had an infection or something once, the ringing had been a symptom, and I recovered from the infection but the symptom of the ringing remained.

It’s a similar definition to chronic pain – the pain message keeps cycling even after the problem has remedied.

That’s my body. It doesn’t want to let things go. I think once upon a time, I might’ve idolized, and idealized pain, because it engendered attention. My mother would do that: lie on the couch, curled almost into a fetal position, when she was anxious, or ill, and have me bring her pills.

I don’t want it anymore.

My eyes are another problem. There’s pixilation everywhere I look. The best comparison is staring at an old TV screen up close and seeing all the colored dots that make up the picture. That’s everywhere for me. A white wall isn’t a white wall; tiny dots overlay it. Darkness isn’t darkness, but that mist of pixels.

Atop of that, I have tunnel vision in my right eye, and it’s weaker against anything bright. It’ll squint on a sunny day.

An ophthalmologist once examined my eyes to determine if there was anything wrong, only to pronounce they were perfectly healthy. She suggested that maybe at some point in my life I had a mini stroke – which she told me were quite common – and it knocked out something in my brain that impacted the right eye’s functionality.

When I was about eight or nine, I suffered crippling headaches, jackhammers of pain that would bring me to my knees until I was crying. They were short, although when they were occurring they felt endless. I was just about to tell my parents about them, but as suddenly as they started, they stopped. I wonder if these were the mini strokes.

In one screenplay I wrote, I gave the protagonist similar characteristics, and extrapolated that she was filtering some plane of existence, some other reality, that her brain couldn’t process, so it was emerging as these symptoms.

That’s something I do think about a lot: the perception of reality. Maybe there is no fixed representation – maybe we only see and understand it, and give it shape, through how we filter it. That means reality is fluid. It changes depending on our interpretation. Most people see these commonalities that are endemic to life, and the world, as we know it.

But there are variances, and in those variances exists the impossible.

It’s just some stuff I think about as I listen to the ringing in my ears.