Fluorescent Lights

Brilliance fades away, leaving a harsh and raw reality.
Induced and imagined colors swirl, fade and burn out.
I stood in a white room. White brick walls, white tile floor.
Fluorescent lights.

I sat on the floor, against the wall, my back arched. Memory gone. Inhale.

This light isn’t real. Pounding light. Blinding light. Unnatural. Piercing. Like the sound of my breath.

Like an interrogation room, a table set in the middle, two chairs. A mirror on the wall. Reflecting the light.

My body is sore, but I stand up. Fingers are tight and numbing. I walk over to the mirror.

Black hair crossing over my forehead, over one grey eye. I push it back; my skin is still soft and clear. Pale in the artificial light.

I reach up, hold my face with my hands. I run my fingers down my cheeks, across my nose, lips, chin.

This is me. Squinting at myself. Inhale. Tilt head, quick smile. I run my hands down the mirror. It reflects the light, but it’s black inside. Empty. Hollow. The way I feel.

Footsteps. I look around – there’s no door. I walk around the room, my fingers linger on the mirror, tracing the wall. Cold, hard. I can feel the paint.

The footsteps have stopped. There’s no sound except for my breathing.

There’s no sound. There’s no smell. The light illuminates nothing. Nothing interesting. Nothing important. I close my eyes, fall back against the wall.

The wall on my back. Cold and hard. My head falls back.

I remember. Cold and hard steel bars. The soft textures of sheets. A steady flow of air on my face and arms. I can’t feel my hands.

I open my eyes. Two men, one in a black uniform with silver badges, another man in a suit. They both wore black shoes. They spoke.

My eyes flickered, my vision blurred. Their distant voices came into focus, I could hear their words, but I couldn’t catch what they were saying. Things, bits of sound. I saw nothing but the light with my eyes.

This was too much. An overburdening of the senses. I allowed myself to fall over onto my side, against the wall still. I heard the slumping sound of my body as it reached the floor. My eyes closed.

Before I totally surrendered to letting go, I felt hands touching me, trying to pull me up.

This is too hard, too much. Exhale. And then nothing. Darkness. And then the darkness faded.


Waking up in a room was hard.
I was disoriented.
I had no memory of anything but white walls and artificial light.
I was put in a room with a bed,
bright blue curtains,
a window,
a red flower.

My gown was white, the sheets and blankets were white. I could see tubes and machines, I could hear soft humming and a buzz of sounds from outside the door. Shadows from behind the door. Calmness.

Lying in the comfort of the bed, I counted my breaths and blinked. What’s wrong with me, I wondered. Where am I? Who am I? Is this death? At least there’s no pain…


Amid the beauty, the sorrow, the pain, the happiness and the pleasure, sometimes it’s just easier to let go. It may be weak, it might be cowardly, but it doesn’t matter. Because nothing matters anymore. There is no pain. There is no happiness. There’s just me. And then the darkness. And then the breaths. Until they stop. And then it’s silent. And before I have to wake up, I can rest.


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