did i take the yellow pill, or the pink?



a harlequin bows to greets me, backstage. with one graceful and balletic movement, he offers me his gloved right hand. a hand with six fingers. i take his hand, and let him lead me down a violet-scented corridor with forty doors into the deepest realm of my subconscious.

where the fuck am i?

the air is fragrant and warm on my bare legs, as i am wearing nothing but a simple white shirt. my breath echoes around the cathedral vaults of my mind. in the temporal lobe, a blue ginger candle burns bright; its tiny flame licks itself clean, casting off enormous and wondrous shadows across the triforium of my inner vision, a stained-glass gallery of memories – old and new.

in the centre, there lies a bed. a bed adorned with silky smooth chocolate sheets. i slip into its creamy coolness. the harlequin whispers:

“this is where i leave you… what happens now is your doing.” as he hands me an emerald ring.

he takes four steps back, bows, without averting his gaze, and disappears into the inky darkness.


the emerald ring burns as bright and exquisite as fire in zero gravity.  i watch, in shock and awe, as it melts into the skin.  lying on my back, gazing up at the ornate ceiling, it is then i remember…  the ceiling depicts enchanting scenes of woodland creatures, like the wallpaper i had in the bedroom of my childhood. exactly like that. i am captivated.

all of my six senses spin out of control as my mind pixelates and begins to break apart, crumbling. it is quite humbling.  i am a fractal; spiralling out of control but the sensations are beautiful.  i close my eyes and drift in arms of the Chaos. Chaos is my mother.

oh mother. i came from inside you.  her voice, soft and low, is soothing. she is manic. she tells me how she never enjoyed sex.  i am confused. how did i come to be, if not borne out of ecstasy?  heavy and shaken, i awaken.

the unmistakable feeling of fresh air on my face stirs me from my bleak reverie and i find myself, in a white linen bed, upon an Alpine mountainside. the air is white. i feel light as light. there are four goats, standing, staring at me. they are chewing, ruminating on something… i stare back. the black goat, with large twisted horns, speaks to me:

“you seek answers” he bleats. “you are inside you…”


with a jolt i find myself on the ceiling of a round chamber, looking down at a pack of wild painted dogs. they scavenge and scrape. they wait for me to fall so they can pull me apart and feast on bone and gristle. they whimper and simper. their mouths, foaming. their teeth, bared. snarling, their eyes burn into me.

a beautiful young boy, of eleven years, walks into the room through the wall and picks up a red violin. he begins to play. the wild painted dogs become placid, docile; turning and turning twice before settling down. the music is beguiling and i find myself dancing.

the harlequin reappears and throws me a ball of fire. i catch it in my left hand and rub my palms together.  with two fingers, i smear the ash and grease across my face, like war paint. i am wild, like those painted dogs. he throws me another. the flames cannot hurt me because i am a child of fire. Inferno is my father.


punch-drunk and bewildered, like a wildebeast with a lionness upon its back with her mouth clamped on the jugular, i clutch my throat. i am bleeding. i have been bitten. smitten with eternal life. who is this beautiful creature, in turquoise velvet? i have been turned and returned to this strange and promised land. he holds me, in the palm of his hand. he is fair and fey. i look into the galaxies of his turquoise eyes and see my own reflection. my throat is cut. the blood flows. a thick, red gloopy wine.

did i take the yellow pill, or the pink?

i frantically chase that memory but it flickers and rolls into the static, like an image on an old cathode ray television set, blinking and on the brink of its own obsoletion.

my mind is awash with bizarre and bric-a-brac.

the violinist suddenly stops playing. he lays down his red violin and tells to me to:

“run: the wild dogs will smell the blood.”

and so, i run.

i run into a beautiful emerald-green ocean, disappearing beneath the ninth wave… returning to my self.

image & words (c) Kat McDonald 2016

– the mind is a wonderful entity.

8 thoughts on “did i take the yellow pill, or the pink?

  1. Your words and photography together, remind me of Dave McKean/Neil Gaiman collaborations, a headiness and poignancy that add to the dreamlike qualities. A brilliant piece of work, Kat


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