Boy, The Latest Entry in my Journal is a Doozy

Since I started writing seriously I’ve been keeping a journal of interesting physical sensations and unusual experiences. It’s usually things like freezing my face off in -40° weather and what it feels like to defrost afterwards, or the incredibly specific pain of a pinched nerve. However, the other day I recorded one hell of an experience: a full on hypnopompic hallucination.

It started when terrible sound filled my dream, a voice yelling “PAT PAT PAT PAT…” It was Dalek-like, like a man yelling into a voice modulator. The sound confused me more than anything, until I saw an old-fashioned hunting party ride through my backyard carrying bazookas on their shoulders. The image was silly enough to make me realize it was a dream and wake myself up. But the sound didn’t stop.

I pinned the sound on my boyfriend. He wasn’t so much snoring as making little puffs of air, but my brain converted it into the reverberating shout:

({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)}) ({(PAT)})

It was creepy and terrifying, more-so because it accompanied visual hallucinations.

A grid, a dotted line of tiny shimmering spots, filled my entire visual field. In each grid-square a kaleidoscopic circle throbbed with colorful patterns. There were at least a hundred of these blobs, each one filled with a different, shifting non-Euclidian pattern. It took me a whole day to remember the specific word for them: Poincaré disks, a form of hyperbolic geometry. How my brain came up with not just one, but hundreds of them, will probably remain a mystery to the end of my days. Such a neural event is weird in the Cosmic sense, or at least feels that way.

I’ve never hallucinated quite like that – not even on bad meds. My only guess was migraine aura, though mine have always been strictly auditory and not visual. In any case, I got up and chugged a glass of water to make sure my brain was hydrated, hoping a headache wouldn’t come crashing down on me. I was lucky, and managed to fall back asleep pain-free. Before I did, as I curled under the covers and closed my eyes, the visual aura had calmed to something slightly less trippy. The grid tightened, becoming a diaphanous net of luminous undulating lines. The Poincaré disks had disappeared, though the net itself had a rather hyperbolic form.

Freaked out as I was, the writer part of me was going, “Yesss, fresh material for the novel!” Because of course my protagonist lives in a more-or-less constant state of altered consciousness. You may be surprised to learn that I’ve never done psychotropic drugs – but mostly because my brain is strange enough without them. Sometimes it’s even too strange for me.

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Sarah Dimento

The only thing interesting about me is my interest in interesting things – and sometimes I make cool shit.

2 thoughts to “Boy, The Latest Entry in my Journal is a Doozy”

    1. That was me being (sort-of) awake though, what with the hallucination mildly carrying on as I got up and chugged a pint of cold water. That and I’m not on much in the way of meds at the moment. You might say I was “Duranning” 😉

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