Breep breep breep breep breep-
Matt started awake at the sound of a shrill alarm. Darkness surrounded and confused him at first. He couldn't see! Wait, that's right, he'd had that incident yesterday. Matt forced himself to relax back into his pillow. It didn't help. Whomever was enslaved by that alarm was banging around in their apartment. Matt couldn't help overhearing them, really. Or the man snoring to beat the band on the ground floor apartment. Or the dog barking two blocks away.
Siiigh. I should have anticipated this...
There wasn't going to be any going back to sleep now, was there? Matt swung his legs out of bed and sat up. The room came into focus for his radar sense. It was a confusing thing, reporting not just edges and space, but texture and temperature, density and depth. It was like touching everything all at once, really. Overwhelming. In addition to that, his hearing was reporting things that he really didn't care to know. The same with his nose...ugh, who had a cat? They needed to scoop their litter box, badly.
The carpet under his toes was...rough. Odd. Hadn't it been a thicker Berber type weave? His skin was over-reporting too, apparently. Wonderful. Not everything was terrible. Ms. Four Thirty Wakeup was brewing coffee and the roast had a rich smell to it. Still, whoever she was wouldn't appreciate a groggy blind man tracking her down and asking for a cup.
Yeah, THAT'D be a great conversation...'Hi, your alarm woke me up, can you give me a cuppa?' Sounds like a Klaus line...well, I'm up, might as well get up.
Anybody's body would rebel at getting up so early, but Matt was startled to actually hear the creaking in his joints and muscles as they transitioned from a sleep state to a more mobile wakefulness. It gave him pause, but couldn't stop him from finding his sweats and socks. Nobody would be up at this hour to see him running and he craved movement and freedom.
Next was shoes...they'd be in the front hallway. Matt quietly made his way out of his room. More smells assaulted him, some subtle and others rank. To his dismay, some of the more offensive came from the shoes he and Klaus kept by the door. How was he to have known? Logically, it made sense that foot odor and bacteria would not result in good things, but...Lord have mercy! There wasn't much to do except get the Febreeze and try to fix the issue. Since that was in the kitchen, Matt headed there, only to be assaulted by the trash. Well, he'd take that out on his way to go run. The bananas on the counter were a surprise...each one was a little more or a little less ripe than its fellows. Didn't they all come from the same bunch? Matt puzzled over the fruit until the answer hit him. They'd been pollinated at different times, so were subtly different ages...minutes, hours, it didn't make a difference.
Well I'll be damned...
The wonder of being able to tell which of the bananas was the ripest wore off relatively quickly. Something to marvel over at another time. But, he resolved, he would definitely marvel over it. Perhaps something to be thankful for when dark days came? Can't see worth shit, but his sense of smell was uncanny...and his hearing, he added as Ms. Four Thirty cursed her keys for going missing. She certainly was able to get ready to go quickly, wasn't she? Matt quirked a grin that nobody would see and collected the Febreeze. A lonesome bottle of Lysol cowered in the back of the cupboard too, so he grabbed it.
Radar sense called the bottles nearly identical, but his nose was able to differentiate them. And my, how they were different! There was the familiar level surface smell...Lemon for Lysol and Fresh Linen for the Febreeze, but Matt had to focus in order to detect those attributes. Now, the first hit to his nose were the factory-load of chemicals and solvents in each spray bottle. Some were caustic, others benign, but the complexity was nearly overwhelming again.
Armed with enough chemicals and antibacterial spray to effectively go to war, Matt resolutely advanced on the offensive tennis shoes. It took a delicate hand to be able to balance spraying away the stink and yet not fumigating himself out with the shoes. Eventually, Matt was satisfied with the job. He put on the now-lemony shoes and his sun glasses. The sun was just peeking up over the horizon, so it wouldn't be too odd. Hoodie, keys, garbage for the dumpster, and he was gone.
Brisk air greeted him, carrying the weight of car exhaust, garbage, stray animals, and humanity. Did he know that a flock of eight gulls roosted down the street and two blocks down? And how the hell did he have THAT precise level of pinpointing? Unbelievable.
Matt flipped his hood up and jogged down the stairs and picked up the pace as he continued down the block. Nobody gave him a second look. That was good. A blind man shouldn't be able to run, much less at a near Olympic pace. And he was, wasn't he? This pace was killer, and yet it wasn't. His lungs were burning with effort, but his muscles weren't screaming. So, he needed to build his endurance, but his strength was higher than ever. Well, then. Maybe whatever mutation he'd suffered through was more than just a sensory change...
Oh no...what if they made me into a werewolf like that McGarret guy that Klaus was working with?
There was an easy test for that. When he finished this run and some calisthenics, he would prick himself on one of Klaus' silver blades. Oh, that would be fun to explain to his friend...Sorry, thought I was a werewolf. Excuse me while I go clean up this bleeding mess. Wouldn't Klaus be surprised if his best mate was a monster? Matt was pretty sure that Klaus would kill him.
As his breathing evened out and stopped hurting, Matt redirected himself to thinking cheerful thoughts. So long as he worked out early enough in the morning or late enough in the evening, there was no reason why he couldn't keep doing this. The Thames smelled. Traffic noises were picking up. Matt pushed himself harder, panting and sweating through the overwhelming sensations assaulting him.
It was almost painful, the way everything was more real. Matt tortured himself with the exercise. The air became a breeze that stung, not from the speed but from his own sensitivity. Eventually, all things end, and so it was with the run.
Six o’clock, if he could trust his inner clock. Time for breakfast, a shower, and…he didn’t know what. The therapist had given him a work book and audio CD to start doing home study to learn Braille. He’d need to memorize the alphabet and then start practicing. Hopefully the text wouldn’t be stupid. It was probably stupid.
Matt made his way back into the apartment and headed towards the shower. After a detour to pick up a new outfit (hopefully not mismatched), he headed to the shower. Under the hot water, he was able to relax and start ordering his thoughts for the day.
Note to self, get mum over to help arrange the outfits into something I can sort through quickly.
The drops of water felt like he had the jets on. Reaching up, Matt was dismayed to find that such was not the case.
Hypersensitivity? Sure. Why not? Maybe that was how the radar sense worked. He was over feeling air currents, over smelling things, over hearing things…Maybe it was a good thing he couldn’t see anymore. Would he have developed X-ray vision? As he washed his hair, he contemplated how much worse things could be. What if he DID have X-ray vision and he couldn’t turn it off? Everything was bones and see through! He snickered at the thought…didn’t he kind of already have that detail? Since he could hear the water groaning through the pipes as he rinsed off, it was safe to say that he did get to enjoy the “Too Much” kind of sensory information. Already, he could foresee a slew of problems that would come along with that.
Music, conversations, phone calls…nothing will be a solo act anymore. I’ll be able to eavesdrop on everybody!
Sarcasm was a good indicator of mental health, he’d once read. If that were true, then he must be fairly balanced to have come up with a line like that. Matt dried off and pulled on pants and trousers, then went to go shave his face. His hand lingered on the razor for a moment when he realized that he couldn’t see his reflection in the mirror. Well, he’d just have to do his best, right? Same with combing his hair. At least brushing and flossing his teeth were more tactile sensations than the other daily hygiene tasks. Aftershave, deodorant, tee shirt…he was ready for whatever it was he was going to do with the rest of his morning.
Breakfast first, right? Well, second or third, after working out and taking a shower. But what to eat? Something not overwhelming, preferably healthy…There was the box of Cheerios he’d bought to counterbalance Klaus’ bright colored sugary cereal. There were eggs, toast, fruit…he had options, but what could he prepare realistically? At this stage, cereal seemed like a good option.
Back into the kitchen he went. Matt opened the cupboard and grumbled to himself. Unlike the earlier hunt for the cleaning sprays, his hyper-senses were working against him rather than with him. The food pantry had lots of boxes and bags. These boxes were predominantly cardboard and they all soaked up the smell of whatever their contents were…and whatever their neighbors were. Time would probably give him the experience he needed to ort things by smell, but for now, everything was just one big old happy miasma. Maybe toast would be better.
Matt closed the pantry and began searching for the bread. The plastic wrapped loaf was snuggling with the toaster. Perfect. Matt thought to himself as he pulled out two slices, popped them in the appliance, then waited. The burning crumbs at the bottom, near the element, smelled bad. The heating element itself was buzzing obnoxiously. They needed a new toaster, didn’t they? Matt sighed, pushing away the low level of frustration he was starting to feel with his new super senses as he leaned on the counter and crossed his arms.
Sounds of movement from Klaus’ room made Matt focus in that direction. His friend was awake and almost done getting ready for the day. Good. Had to pretend like he couldn’t see him…ugh. Matt hated the pretense. How was he supposed to explain to Klaus the comic-book ridiculousness that the two of them had been thrown into? Who knew? Matt dropped his gaze back to the floor when he heard the bedroom door open.