The internet has, for a few years, been intent on discovering trypophobia in diverse people. Psychology and psychiatry are somewhat behind in deciding whether or not this thing, is indeed, a thing, but some of the basic reasoning behind why trypophobia, the fear or revulsion towards holes, cracks and crevices, might be a thing. Such surfaces speak of hidden predators and parasites, or of the fact of disease.

When all this came about, I realized that I sometimes had the opposite reaction. I can actually remember at a young age, being fascinated by the look of fried chicken skin, its wrinkles flattened in being cooked against a grill. I remember looking at mud swirling underwater, the tendrils and patterns of the disturbed water transfixing me. I still have an almost hypnotic attraction to patterns and things that are transparent or translucent. It can cause problems in certain situations, such as when around lace stockings. But I should make clear: "philia" in this sense just means an attraction to, not a paraphilia. The weird fixation that I have for patterns and crevices is almost geometric in its purity.

While my interest in holes and indentations is not specifically about pathologies, at times they do appear. I had eczema for many years, and along with it being agonizing, I also did develop a weird fascination with the pattern of bubbles that would appear under my skin, and later with the rough patchwork of skin that would appear on my hands. Recently, I saw a news article about a man with "Tree Man" syndrome, where normally commensual HPV in the skin of a man would form such dense clusters of warts and growths that they would form coral-like protuberances all over his hands. The condition is painful and grotesque, but along with my sympathy, I found the structure of the lesions to be...entrancing, in some terrible way.

I don't know exactly where this mental pattern of mine came from. In some ways, it is a phobia and a philia at the same time: like trypophobes, I find these types of patterns of holes to be unnerving and discordant, but the revulsion is itself attractive, in some type of trainwreck way. I don't know how unusual this makes me, I don't know if this is at all common, all I know that is on some level, I appear to react to holes, waves, cracks and crevices with a type of fascination I can't really understand.

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