Rude health

There’s something a little disconcerting when you happen to glance in the mirror, only to find a monster staring back at you. That’s exactly what happened to me today, when i popped into the loo to ‘powder my nose’ and found myself face-to-face with a ghoulish zombie!

My eyeball had exploded!

Well, OK, perhaps i’m over-dramatising a little: to be more precise, half of the white bit of my left eye was a ghastly and grizzly blood red… not quite what i’d expected to see! Apparently, it’s nothing to worry about – unless i start craving human flesh, in which case, i should probably arrange to see an optician.

It does seem to be the season for aches, pains, illnesses and accidents.  My work colleagues have been dropping like flies recently, with everything from stress to car accidents, and let’s not forget the ubiquitous ‘flu’ – also known as ‘a bit of a runny nose and sore throat’.

Speaking for myself, i seldom have time to be bothered with being ill – the first sign of even the suggestion of anything nasty on the horizon, i’ll dose myself up, grit my teeth and steadfastly ignore the incoming tide of yuckiness. It seems to do the trick – i don’t think i’ve taken a day off for sickness for well over 5 years… if i do get really ill, it invariably happens when i’m off anyway – like that Christmas break when i had real ‘flu: great for losing weight, even better for making you realise there are worse things on this earth than being devoured alive by flesh-eating zombies.

Not that flesh-eating zombies, exploding eyeballs, car crashes, or even the ‘flu for that matter tend to be a problem in sl, since our online presence simply isn’t limited by the constraints imposed by a flesh and blood body. Certainly, we may be a total wreck on the rl side of the screen, and this may well intrude upon our virtual antics but, in the main, no matter what state we are in physically, our virtual bodies remain pretty much immune to the frailties of our human state.

All of which is probably just as well, when you consider some of the things we get up to in sl. i shudder to think of the number of vehicular accidents i’ve walked away from without a scratch inworld… not to mention all the plane crashes, numerous fallings off buildings, drownings and attacks by everything from daleks to killer tomatoes and ravenous sharks – none of which have inconvenienced me in the slightest. i’ve been hacked with swords, shot at, blattered with cupcakes and had taxicabs hurled at me with no ill-effects and i’ve laughed off being buried under buildings and thrust into space with no protective equipment whatsoever. It’s all good clean fun, as far as i’m concerned!

Yet even in the virtual world we feel a compulsion to enfeeble-ise our virtual selves, so that our pixels can share our mortal suffering, if only by mimicking our rl symptoms. When i fell off my bike in rl, (seems to be a common affliction amongst sl bloggers!), and mashed my shoulder, i felt the most ridiculous need to slap on a sling in sl too. Others i know have hobbled about on crutches and zimmer frames or trundled around in wheelchairs after suffering some rl misfortune and i know at least two good friends who not only trot out their “a-choo!” gestures when they’re putting up with a bout of rl sniffles, but have inventories stuffed with handkerchiefs and even bright red noses, all ready for their seasonal sneezes!

It makes me wonder if there is something deep within us that fundamentally distrusts the concept of a perfect world. Do we really find it so uncomfortable to be part of a world where pain, suffering and illness are completely unnecessary evils or is it simply that we, and those around us, find it easier to relate to one another’s virtual selves by virtue of that particularly human quality of imperfection? Maybe it’s just that we can’t abide the thought of our pixel selves bounding around full of beans, whilst we labour, bleary-eyed behind mounds of tissues, inhaling the fumes of vapour rub and wreathed in the steam of hot lemon? Whatever the reason – don’t you think it’s decidedly odd?

Must dash – i need to scour the Marketplace for an exploding eyeball!

s. x

Now the drugs don’t work
They just make you worse
The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work

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