This post is based on a prompt shared on the comments section of my Writing Challenge Recap post – because I couldn’t stop thinking of it, no matter how much it scared me.
Prompt: “What was up there? Think of an interesting ceiling you once stared at and thought about. Write about you staring…and what it was that caused you to stare.”
There’s an eye on the ceiling right above my bed – which happens to be the top bunk of a double-decker bed. In daylight, I could see nothing of that oddity but a small row of pale gray lashes fanning out into the corner. At night, however…
It watches me. I know because watch it right back, tracing the marbled lines on its whites, studying the exact shade of its irises as it falls into the pupils like water. We just stare at each other, that eye and I; sometimes, I wonder if either of us even blink in the presence of the other. It’s been six months since I first noticed it, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it close before the sun comes up. Meanwhile, I always greet the mornings with dry, sandy eyes.
Why am I only writing about this now? I…don’t know. Maybe it’s because I had this crazy idea that when I start writing about it, then I’ll be forcing myself to think about it. And when I think about it, I’ll have to start asking questions I don’t really want to answer.
Questions like: Why do we watch each other?
It’s not that it’s particularly beautiful. It looks like a regular eye. It’s the size of a regular eye, and doesn’t even have one of those interesting colors – it’s brown. A plain, muddy brown. And I’m no vision either – at least not at that time of the night, when I’ve just dragged myself through a twenty-hour work day. My eyes are red-rimmed, and gray-purple-ringed by that point, and I’m sure I do a very good impression of a fresh (but only slightly) corpse. I don’t know what it finds so interesting about me, and I’m not sure what I find so fascinating about it. Maybe I just find it…familiar.
So, if I don’t want questions answered, then why am I writing this and sharing this with you? Well. It’s because there’s ONE question I want answered.
Three hours ago, at around noon, the eye opened and started dripping tears on my mattress. It’s blinking rapidly, moving its pupil from side to side. I’m not on the bed. I’m sitting at the doorway to the room, trying not to look at it. It hasn’t stopped. My brother called the plumber, complaining about the leak; he couldn’t see the eye, couldn’t smell the salt. I can’t move. I don’t know if it can see me. But I know it can feel me. I sure as hell can feel it. It makes me want to turn my head. I feel like I won’t be able to breathe if I don’t.
Just now, the eye started to open wider – it’s as if its corners are being torn open by a violent force. From MY eye’s corner, I can see the iris rolling around violently, like a roulette wheel. What was once brown is turning scarlet. Within the next few minutes, I know that it will catch my eyes. I don’t know if it will ever close again, or if it will ever let me look away.
What I want to ask, is this: will you let me watch you from the corners of your room?