derealisation or, understanding alice

first, the world grows bigger. you get dizzy, reverse vertigo. then, all of a sudden, you realise that you’re really shrinking. you know this because your skin shrinks faster than the rest of your body and everything is so tight you can barely breathe. you’re scared because you don’t know what’s going on, all you know is that your environment has suddenly hulked out on your ass.

you turn, and step face-first into a chair leg that seconds ago was smaller, punier. the panic takes over. you do the only thing you know how to do instinctively – your childhood prepared you for this – and you look for a hiding place. under a table, in a corner, beneath a blanket. squeeze your eyes shut so hard, your temples hurt.


you wait for god for who knows how long, until your breath calms down, your heartbeat slows, and the pain from your nails digging into the palm of your hands exceeds the sound of your blood pounding in your ears. you wait a little longer. the world seems so still, but you’re not ready yet to open your eyes, lift the cover away from your head, emerge from your cubby. you slowly unclench, barely shifting position, expecting something to happen. but nothing does.

the rational returns home, all boisterous-like: it’s just a moment, it’s over now, c’mon, it coaxes. you wanna shake the rational part of you until it dies because the second the world turned nightmare, rationality left without so much as a by-your-leave. but you can’t because that’s the only way you survive out there. the fear and anger turns into desperate need and you cling to the rational with every last shred of dignity you have left. and you open your eyes, relief tinted with… is that disappointment?… manic hysteria at the unexpected normalcy.

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