The first human eye featured six rotating pupils, similar in appearance to the chambers of a revolver. Each dark circle contained a small membrane of film onto which a single, still image could be imprinted, which the observer could then gaze into for as long as they wished. Because of this, twelve cross-sections of reality were the most that could ever be experienced between two full nights of sleep.

During the period of history in which such eyes were in circulation, books were particularly sacred. The literate could read at most twenty-four pages per day, and in doing so, forfeited the ability to see all else during their waking hours. Because of this, there were many scholars and scribes who saw nothing but page after page for years on end, to the point that some of them even forgot the appearance of a human face.

For others of this era, vanity was a virtue. To simply look upon another person was rarely happenstance; most of the time, it was an active decision, and thus could not be separated from desire. As such, dedicating one’s vision to the experience of another human being was itself an act of love, and further, preparing one’s self to be seen in such a manner was a form of reciprocating that love.

By night, those with such limited eyes also dreamed, but their dreams were not of the sort that we experience today. Rather than witnessing a stage show produced by the imagination, they simply watched in silence as all of the images that they’d collected since the previous sunrise melted away into darkness. Events could be made to last for as long as one could manage to remain awake, but sleep could only be held at bay for so long. 

There was, however, one known way to prevent the present from disappearing, and there were many who gave in to its temptation. Those who wished for a particular day to never end could preserve it by gazing directly into the midday sun, burning it onto their inner film forever.