There is a hole in my floor

Anneliese Fox
3 min readMay 12, 2023

But it is not what you think.

hole dug to set a foundation for an addition
This is a real hole, with a specific purpose. Photo by author.

Every time I walk the corridor alongside the den in my house, out of the corner of my eye, I see this dark black hole in the floor. A hole in the floor? I need to get that fixed. I stop, turn to look. I need to assess the damage. Is it really a hole? Is it something that got spilled on the floor that needs to get cleaned up?

Given that this is the route from the bedroom side of the house to the public side, I probably cross this path twenty times a day (or more). And every time, I notice that ‘hole.’

Except that it isn’t really a hole. Or something spilled on the floor. It’s a spot in the wood of the floor that took stain differently in the finishing process. I know that because I understand enough about wood finishing to know how that sort of thing occurs. And when I turn to look at said spot on the floor, it’s obvious.

Every time.

I attribute this behavior to getting new eyes a couple of years ago. Before, I was nearsighted. I knew there was a floor down there because I felt it with my feet. Then, I had cataract surgery. That changed everything. I am no longer nearsighted. I can see everything on the floor. Hell, I can count the leaves on the trees at the back of the yard. I never had vision like this.

I’ve noticed that coming out of a surgical procedure is different than going in. It changes things. Often in profound ways. Sure, the point of the procedure is to fix something, but it seems to do more than that. I was not so terribly nearsighted that I was legally blind or anything of the sort. Afterward, though, the images that came into my brain for processing were so different it has felt like learning to see all over again.

So little things, like a change of coloration in the floor, doesn’t have a reliably accurate translation in my brain logic. When it can’t find something logical, it makes something up. Like, look at that, there’s a hole in the floor. Many times during the day (not just walking past the den), something will catch in my peripheral vision and my brain will come up with something interesting to say about it.

You might think this was a problem, but it’s actually fun. As a fantasy writer, these little episodes are fodder for a creative mind. Are there wee creatures living in that hole? Is it a portal to another universe? Is it a cover for surveillance equipment? One has to wonder about these things. They are the elements from which stories are born.

Image of hardwood flooring and color variation.
This is what is really there when my brain tells me there’s a hole in the floor. Well, on closer look, maybe there tiny holes in it. Do I need to repair them? Photo by author.

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Anneliese Fox

Writer of speculative fiction, programmer, artist in wood and clay, owner of Fox Computer Systems. My almost weekly blog follows what interests me at the moment