I don’t know how many of you are D and D nerds out there, but I will proudly admit to knowing more about faerun than the average n00b. With that said, my favorite character in all of the role playing universe was not a mighty warrior, or a heroic dark elf (ok, I’m a huge Drizzt groupie too), no, it was a sickly little wizard. His name was Raistlin Majere. Not only did he appeal to me because of his circumstances, but also because of the way he was forced to look at the world.
Like all wizards, he had to pass a rigorous test to attain the robes of his order, and subsequently, the power that came with them. He was physically weak, and at some point in the test, he was overcome, and nearly died. He did not die however, but he was left with a reminder of his near failure.
His eyes became shaped like hourglasses, and from then on, he could not see life like others could. Everything he looked at became dead or decayed. A young lady in the prime of her youth became old and wrinkled before his eyes, a flower fresh in bloom withered and died beneath his gaze. He saw what was going to be, not what was. He was forced to confront the inevitability of the death and decay that the rest of us have the luxury of being able to ignore while we revel in our very temporary coverings.
I felt such a kinship to this character, because the description of his sight is the only way I have ever seen described how I view everything. I look at you, and I see the old man, or old woman you will become. I see that bed of flowers, and I see the winter come and steal those colors away. I see that happily married young couple, and I see the bitter divorce that will follow. This was always me. I wish I could use my recent life events to make excuses for such rampant pessimism, but I have always seen it that way.
My eyes are those hourglasses, and I see no cure. Even my own children, I see them grow, and then grow old. I will not even get into what happens when I stare into the mirror, but I am certain you can probably guess.
Welcome to my private little hell.