My therapist recommended I keep a journal, to use when my occurrence last year returns and fills my mind with twisted thoughts of darkness. It’s been happening more as of late, more than I’d like, of course. Who would want to think of nothing but of impending death and darkness. My mind wanders because I’m limited in what I can see with my eyes so I have nothing but to think and wander. Nearly seven months ago I went color blind and it depresses me to know that I’ll never see the veracious beauty of the world again. At least not in colors I would appreciate.
I’ll first need to belabor the happenings that lead to my affliction. This is what I’ll detail in this journal entry. It was October 30th and I was driving home from work, I work at a funeral home. Some may consider it an eerie place to be employed, but I felt that I was doing the Lord’s work, helping grieving families set up their memorial and send their final goodbyes to their loved ones. It was delightful work to be sure.
On my way home, I found myself in a typical traffic jam. I took a right turn and immediately realized I needed to be over in the left lane and cut off another vehicle that sent them to jump a median, a minor speed bump that may have ruffled their vehicle. Looking into my rearview mirror I see the sudan is okay, gets back on the road in a casual manner as if nothing happened.
I pulled into a coffee shops parking and ordered my latte, vanilla, extra foam, and sat down attempting to wind down before returning home. I opened up my cup to pour some sugar in it and noticed the barista drew latte art, an orangish smiling face with red eyes, weird, but sweet.
Around ten minutes past and an elderly gentleman approaches, towering over me. “Think yer special, don’t cha! Running over me like dat!” I didn’t recognize him. He was wearing a brown fedora and a black jacket with blue jeans. His stretched out beard was greying in color.
“Sir, can I help you?” Forgetting what event had transpired previously, this was the man I had cut off and ran into a median. His hand reached out and picked up my cup. The elderly man let out a scream, words I cannot spell or utter in the same pronunciation, but it sounded like “Ekto Naughto Vas.” His voice rang my ears surely red, crimson blood dripped out, so the doctors had told me later.
The last full view of color I ever saw was an orange cup being tossed into my face, the led flying off and a tannish liquid hitting my face and eyes. I immediately fell to the ground, grasping my face with one of my hands as I reached out to anything to wipe the hot coffee off. I have felt coffee burn before, but this was something more cosmically hateful. The man ran out of the coffee shop. I laid there on the floor wiping off my face with napkins. That’s when I passed out, blood dripping out of my ear holes, burns blistering on my face and my eyes unable to see. I was in the hospital for two weeks. For the entirety of fourteen days I had bandages wrapped across my head, obstructing my eyesight from seeing anything but darkness. It was excruciating.
Doctor Leduc unwrapped them. “Okay, Mark, I need to prepare you. There are still some burn wounds left, but some scar tissue still covers the surrounding area. Most of it will heal with time.” He said with forbearance.
“My eyes…” Nothing was normal. I looked around the room with terror and desperation, I was a drowning man swallowing water and gasping for air.
“The color. I’m sorry. You won’t be seeing color again. I know it’s hard.” Doctor Leduc said. “But you do have your eyesight, and will continue to see.”
“Everything is grey.” The hospital colors are typically white and black. But this was different. The color, the brightness, the beauty even, it was gone. “You’ll likely never see color again.” He said. Doctor Leduc was wrong. Getting up, I walked to the bathroom. Afterwards I looked into the mirror. I was grey. My color tone was gone, I was no longer a pale man. All healthiness was poured out of me and a hollow shell remained. Circling my eyes were the burn scars, hideous to see.
It’s been a long while since I stretched my legs and decided to walk the hospital grounds. Hospitals were always natural creepy places. How many people have died here? How many people were still dying? Those not were surely sick and not healthy. Of all of the opened chests, wounds, blood, that gave me the shivers, was a single room that said Mortuary. The sign was a distinguished blue, what was suppose to be blue, as I knew it. This was something new, something horrid. I closed my eyes and opened them, it was grey, it was bland again. I went back to my room, losing my mind. I was depressed, and tired I thought.
I’ve been seeing a man in my dreams since that dreadful accident eight months ago. This man is vividly detailed when I sleep but I can’t make them out in words that I know. The colors are off, like how I’d imagine a caveman would begin to describe a big city like New York. The materials, lighting, and even the people, are all unnatural. I know how I would be able to picture him, before the occurrence. His suit is definitely black. I can tell by the tie, how the jacket lines up angled down, opening up towards the neck. His hat is oddly shaped, nothing like I’ve seen before. His eyes though is what strikes me paralyzed. My experience would tell me that they could be red, crimson red, but they weren’t. They were deeper than that, cosmically red, burning. This man has haunted my dreams and still remains there. He didn’t quite represent the old man with the fedora that toss my coffee into my eyes. No, the man with the tie was something else.
My life has returned to what normal was meant to be. I’ve been moved from the funeral home to ironically the mortuary. My boss, Karen Hobbs, in no subtle fashion told me my appearance has frightened our guests. And mourning a loved one is no time to be frightened. After the hospital panic last month I wasn’t agreeable with this transition but alas, I do what my boss says to do. As long as I have a job.
Traffic lights were tough. I was on habit of seeing Green, Yellow, Red, and moving instructionally. Now I look for their position on the lights. Bottom, green, top, red. One day I came across a horizontal stoplight and it threw me off. I was the first in line and didn’t know what to do. I sat there staring into the light, no other cars were there to instruct me on when to move. Sweat poured down my face. I hit my burnt face with my fists in anger and what brought me here. I was mad at God. I was mad at the doctor. I was mad at that man in the fedora. I didn’t know what to do anymore.
I waited until I was honked at. I cried, that day.
I was in a regressed state of melancholy. My friends stopped returning my text messages, nobody calls anymore. Katie, a close friend, even had the nerve to say I got what I deserved. Sure, I had road rage. I was an asshole. That was true. Most of the time it was out of good fun, but on the road I couldn’t help it. I drove with purpose. Not having my friends to bounce off of I went into the next stage of my debilitation, alcoholism. It was so cliche.
Drinking cured my pains and muted my feelings. Although in what should have been inconsequential to what my goal was, it caused my mind to wander. The man with the tie returned. One day I was agaped to see him in the daytime. I would see him across the street staring through my soul, piercing me with his gaze. His tone was peculiar. It should have been a black suit, but it wasn’t. It was something darker. I stared back at him, stepping out into the street I gazed at him standing there continuing to pierce me. As I walked across he turned around and walked away from me. His pace was even, not moving any quicker as I sped into a brisk walk. I was not gaining on him along the buildings as I followed him. Sweat was pouring down my scarred face, and his pace did not falter. Mine was a light jog. Still he stayed a ways ahead of me. The sun blazed down on me and I fell down, not able to keep up with the man with the tie. I cursed him and wondered where in the universe this man had came from.
My therapist continues to ask how I’m doing, what is on my mind, what am I planning to do? I’m not planning to committ to suicide. I told her I was doing fine, I was thinking about moving up, being my own boss maybe, starting my own funeral home to help people, maybe in a busier city. There were things I wanted to do with my life.
What held me back was daily I continued to see the man with the tie. But what haunts me more is working at the mortuary. The place is frightful and full of terror. From spooky sounds in the night, or loneliness in the day, but those were the horrible things happening before my occurrence. Now things were getting more terrifying.
One evening last month I was helping Mrs. Hobbs with some of the bodies, one smiled at me. Shaken, I dropped my holding and Karen berated me for it. It smiled at me! She freaking smiled at me! When humans smile, it should mean joy and happiness, this blonde woman smiling told me nothing but hate and the eyes were something evil. The eyes had the most terrifying color to them. The eyes were supposed to be red, but weren’t. “Damnit Mark, I know they’re dead, but please be more careful!”
“Karen, Mrs. Hobbs, I’m sorry, it’s just…” I cut off, unable to describe what I’ve seen.
“Just what Mark?” She asked. I knew not to tell her. “Just sad…Mrs. Hobbs.” I said.I picked him up and placed him on the table to put back on the shelf. Mrs. Hobbs returned to her desk to complete the paperwork, I looked back at the body, it was fully colored. I saw the blonde hair, pink toes, even the skin tone was a bit tanned. I could tell he got his fair share of sun. I’ve never been more frightened, yet mystified. I walked over and just stared at him.
“Mark, please, it’s a dead body, you’ve seen them before.” Mrs. Hobbs said with a depressing tone. I’ve seen too many dead bodies.
“Sorry mam, I will.” But I couldn’t. Why was he normal? I went to the other cabinets and all those bodies were right! As right as they should be. This was bizarre, my mind wasn’t quite sane. I had to leave immediately and set my mind right. I drank myself into a stupor that night.
Working the mortuary was the only time I saw color all month. It was abnormal but consoling to know that maybe my eyes were regaining it’s veracious sight back. Nightly I would stare endlessly into the abyss of the bodies and remember what those colors were. It hasn’t been a long time since my occurrence happened, but long enough to forget what some colors were, believe it or not.
The man with the tie was still haunting my dreams. I haven’t seen him outside of them since. His tones were still peculiar and not pleasant. I couldn’t picture what exactly he looks like and what is he is wearing, nor the colors. His eyes were closed now. But I felt them staring through his lids and through me. When they opened, behind his eyelids were two black holes it looked like, but there was color there I knew it. It was awful not knowing, being unaware, in the dark. He had me where he wanted me I felt.
I picked up more shifts at the funeral home, still working the mortuary. I was hoping staring at the dead bodies would regain my sight and allow me to see the colors elsewhere. I had to stay awake, to stop seeing the man with the tie. No good came from him.
One day I was prepping a body, a female, slim figure, and attractive. Besides being dead. I was putting her in a dress her family brought here for her funeral. I didn’t need their description, it was supposed to be black. I didn’t see black. It was something else from a darker place, not of this world. I didn’t want to put her in that dress but the family wouldn’t understand. After I fit her in it, I picked up my clipboard to finish my side of the paperwork and shockingly I see her tilted her head towards the window. I drop what I’m holding and stare at her in that abysmal dress. I fix her head, picking it up with my hands along her ears and tilt it forward toward the ceiling fluorescent lights. Her head lifts up and jaw opens wide, she bites me!
“AHHH!” I throw my hands in the air and look down at her. A blonde, slim, attractive, in what should be a black dress laying there on the table. Smiling towards me, with her eyes closed wide. What does that even mean? But that’s the only way to tell it. Grey blood dripped from my hand. Maybe it was just a shift from the AC breeze, the force of her head falling cut my hand, maybe I’m being paranoid. But no. I know she isn’t what she seems. It’s that damn cursed dress. These colors are not right.
I returned to the office to get a first aid kit to bandage my hand. My blood, damnit, it wasn’t right. It was pouring out, slowly, but forcefully. It was crimson, yet not red. It was dark, something evil. I wrapped it up with a white bandage and it greyed out immediately. I looked out into the mortuary and that man with the tie was standing by that blonde woman. He was smiling. His eyes were the color of my blood. Evil, something cosmically crimson. I was sweating. I ran out and left the mortuary.
I was berated later by Mrs. Hobbs for leaving that woman out. She stank up the whole place, naturally. She fired me even after I explained to her that some man, I couldn’t tell her the exact, my exact truth of what happened. She’d think I was crazy. Maybe I was, but when I returned home the pain of my burn scars returned. I decided to drink myself into another stupor, telling myself it’s what I needed to do to feel better and numb the pain.
It’s been one year since my occurrence and I wasn’t feeling too happy about it. Last month I was fired from the funeral home. I got a job relatively soon afterwards at a funeral home across the street, “Caligula’s Funeral Home.” Mr. Conner knew I was a hard worker, he saw me at Mrs. Hobbs funeral home every night. He didn’t know why I was fired, he didn’t care, so he gave me a shot. His shop was very similar, it had the main funeral home in the front and the mortuary in the back to keep the bodies chilled before the funeral and burial.
Truth be told I enjoyed working in the mortuary. The bodies gave me solace. I spent every night staring at the bodies. I saw colors never before seen by my eyes. They had no definitions of blue, green, yellow, or red. These were something else, something cosmic from elsewhere. Routinely I would prep the bodies in their garb, of otherworldly colors, and bask in their glow. Not fighting it no longer, I think I’ll give them names. The colors. Maybe something unique, and beautiful.
Yesterday gave me caution and yet hope. I was walking across the street from the funeral home to my car and I noticed a sudan, something which I thought would be blue, maybe a pink, was turning onto the street and was coming in my direction before they saw me and swerved past to crash into a tree. It was the loudest sound from the crash. The tree I knew had died then. My ears bled again, dripping slowly and against gravity onto the black tar pavement.
I rushed to the vehicle, pulling open the driver side door, a blonde woman poured out onto the street. Her blood was red. The kind of shade I once knew, and disgusted. Her blood wasn’t normal of what I remembered. Not the color of blood, but from a can of paint labeled red. It was beautiful. I wiped my finger in it, bringing it to my nose and smelling it. It smelled of apples, freshly picked from a tree. Nothing was more satisfying and I could not have been more grateful to be given this gift. I returned the favor and called an ambulance for the young attractive woman. While they were on their way I couldn’t do much but to hold her as she lay there dying in my arms, the tree had hit her rough in the head. I covered her wound and enjoyed being this close to a color I once knew. It was the best day of my life.
It was the best day until I saw the man with the tie across the street, frowning at me with his cosmically horrid eyes. I saw disappointment in those eyes. Looking at him with awe and suspense, I still dream of him and I wonder what that means? He began to look familiar. His hat was familiar to me. What did that look of utter disappointment in those cosmically horrid eyes mean? Though as I write this, my facial scars and eyes burn with pain. Like it happened before.
This may be my final journal entry. I’m writing posthaste because I’m not quite certain how much time I may have. Something harrowing has occurred that may have dire consequences. I’ve been spending days and nights in the mortuary staring at the bodies, basking in the glow of the crimson blood. I’ve written down what names I’ve given these colors to describe their terrible and cosmically horrendous shine. I folded up that document and placed it within this journal. The man with the tie won’t let me make it known, but I can’t come to destroy it.
One night at the mortuary another body smiled at me. A brunette woman, curvy, yet still attractive. I could hear her muscles contort to move her muscles in her face to form a smile of horror. The sound will forever be intertwined in my memory, it was like the gears of a machine twisting and turning. Dust even flew out of her mouth. I’m losing my mind. Her skin tone was magnificent. Through my eyes she was a work of art. But that smile was a nightmare.
Leaving the mortuary I close the door behind me, in doing so I drop my keys. I bend down to pick it up and the door is opened with the curvy, beautiful brunette standing facing me. Her smile is aching to stay up but with her eyes closed. She slowly opens them, revealing those same eyes I’ve seen before. Cosmically horrific, black behind that glass of a shell. I sped around and ran but that man with the tie was blocking my path. I crossed the street and just ran home. All forty gorgeous blocks.
I needed to see my therapist.
The next morning I went straight there. I stayed up all night so I was looking unkempt. “Hello, Mark. How are you doing today?” She asked. I ruffled my hair a bit, showing signs of insanity, alcoholism, fatigue.
“Uh somewhere in the range of terribly to semi-not well.” I said.
She pulled out her papers to pick up where we left off last month. “So tell me about last night?” I went on to tell her about the mortuary, the brunette, and even the man with the tie which I have withheld from her during our visits. She listened and seemed to believe me. God I hope so.
“Why do you think you are seeing these, what did you call them, strange colors?” She asked.
“Cosmically horrific colors.” I corrected her. “I think it’s this man.”
“The man with the tie?”
“Do you think you are mis-remembering colors you were once able to see?” She questioned. “No, I’m not. These are…unearthly.”
“Why did you run from the man with the tie last night?”
“I was scared.” I noticed my therapists clock. It was that same crimson color.
“Don’t be scared, Mark.” The man with the tie was sitting at the desk piercing my soul with his glaze. I was unable to move. “Ekto Naughto Vas” he whispered to me. I threw myself down on the floor knocking over the chair and lamp. The man with the tie stayed sitting at the desk piercing me continuously with his gaze. I crawled to pick myself up. Blood came from my ears at the whispering of his voice. I ran down the staircase and out of the building nearly falling down trying to shove the front doors open. I looked behind my shoulder just once and saw the man with the tie standing as a sentient in front of the building, he gave me a wave. I’m hoping it was a goodbye, but my gut tells me it was a “see you later.”
I returned home and began writing this final journal entry. I’m not sure what my future holds. I can’t avoid the mortuary, I need to see color and inconsequence need to see those beautiful bodies. When I see them, I see the only color I’m able to. Even though it’s an awful, unearthly and cosmically horrifying, it gives me hope that my sight will regain itself. But the more I do, the more my eyes and burns worsen. I surmise that’s why the man with the tie visits me, it’s my consequence of seeing color, the only color I deserved to see, the color of death. God help me.