it was a quiet time. a time where the only sounds are the sounds of my breath and the gentle tinkle of a wind chime in the next room, as a brisk sea breeze trickles in through the open window and tickles its delicate copper pipes. it was a time of late afternoon calm. it was unexpected and unwanted.
at first, i could not believe what i was seeing. the colours… the jagged outline. a wild surprise. a hallucinogenic reprise…? it followed my gaze. everywhere i looked, it was all i could see. was i seeing things? i placed a cool palm over my right eye. i could still see it. i placed a cool palm over my left eye. again, i could still see it. this wasn’t retinal. this was ocular.
no pain. only colours. colours and jagged shapes. with every blink it danced. it flitted and flirted with me, as it danced across the room, across my screen, across my bare white emulsioned wall, redecorating my room like a psychedelic DMT-infused 1970s wallpaper.
with each blink, the jagged shapes grew and grew and grew. within 15 minutes i could barely see my previous reality. everything had been swallowed by this strange morphing organism before my eyes. no guitar, no walls, no cool palm across my eye. this thing had swallowed everything. maybe it would devour me too, or turn me inside out. but i was not afraid.
i had seen it before. seven years ago.
in my relaxed, yet curious, state, i ventured outside into the April sunshine. the sky looked terrifying, but beautiful. birds would fly into its jagged mouth and disappear. buildings disappeared. trees disappeared. everything i looked at seemed to disappear. even my own hands disappeared.
i returned to the cool shade of my apartment. i could not see the front door, but i knew it had to exist as i had, merely moments before, exited from it. i stepped in through the jagged fray and into my bedroom, closed the blinds and kicked off my boots. they too vanished, into the jagged clutches of this strangely beguiling entity. i stripped naked and threw my clothes into its hungry jaws.
naked, i fumbled and felt my way to the kitchen for a glass of water. the floor seemed to fall away with each step. i then stumbled through to the cool sanctuary of my bedroom where i slipped beneath the duvet and closed my eyes. the smell and feel of freshly laundered cotton felt incredible against my skin. i lay down in the darkened room, a perfect calm. the twisted jagged rainbows continued to morph and move around, dancing behind my shut eyes, like strange protoplasm.
hypnotised by its beauty, i fell asleep.
one hour later, i awoke to discover the entity had gone… perhaps it had folded in on itself. perhaps it had devoured itself. perhaps…
my clothes lay jumbled on the bedroom floor. one boot was in the hallway, the other beneath my bed. everything looked spat out, but dry.
my hands had grown back.
i opened the blinds.
i could see.
i could see.
i could see.
(c) Kat McDonald 2016
– ever had an ocular migraine? there is no pain. i am no stranger to migraines and they can be debilitating. ocular migraines? i’ve had three. this was the third and most spectacular. as beautiful as they are, they are not something i want to see again any time soon… if you have not had an ocular migraine before, do not panic. they only last 30-45 mins. there is no pain. but if they persist, seek medical attention.