I’ve been living on the same one-way street for six months. Today, I looked the wrong way before crossing for the second time this week. I noticed it only half-way across, dodging a blue Volkswagen.
I got home, perturbed. So–like any well-trained millennial–I asked Google:
Can you develop dyslexia in your late twenties?
To which it responded, in a multitude of condescending articles: No. Yet, as I searched further, deeper, I began to wander curiously through forums until I got sucked into one odd little chat room for people called Puddle Jumpers. At first I thought it might be some joke. The banner was gray and the text came through in ugly pinks and greens, but it was active. One post, just a day ago read “First successful jump!!!”
I clicked it.
The user: Disrexic321, wrote this:
28.7041° N, 77.1025° E – On attempt 23, made it through! I can’t stop looking at my eyes!!! So. cool!
I kept scrolling down. There were dozens of responses; mostly congratulations. Many seemed to be impressed that the person was successful on just their 23rd jump, whatever that meant. I went back to the main screen. I kept going down the page until I found a post that fit my sentiment, it read:
What the hell is this?
The responses were a bit less welcoming. A few people called for the administrators to delete the comment. But, on the second page of responses there was someone who had posted a PDF download. Curious still, I clicked it.
The Other Side of Your Child’s Face: A Study on Dyslexia
By: Dr. Rosedale-Grosse
I skimmed through, becoming more and more confused and more and more curious. From what I could understand, the Doctor posited a theory that certain puddles, when jumped in or trodden across, will flip the world and become as one would see it in a mirror. He cited studies which showed that Dyslexia was drastically less popular in drier regions of the world and that it often begins in adolescence as a result of children’s tendencies to puddle jump.
I actually laughed when I read of the Doctors experiments, leading schools of children to puddle ridden parks and then performing all manner of convoluted tests; jumping on one foot, high-fiving, swinging a bat, writing words in the air with a finger, as well as more standard tests of directional awareness.
It all seemed so absurd that I had to sit back and whistle, only to find myself looking out of the window, wondering when it might rain next.
It being St, Petersburg, I didn’t have to wonder long. An hour later I was outside. I stood over the fresh puddles, looking around for executors of judgement. Finding none, I jumped once, then again. I didn’t feel a difference but the thrill of it took me and I couldn’t stop. There was another, and another. Then, I saw a big fat one in the middle of the road.
I checked for cars, and went for it.