The Left Eye

The operation had been a success. The Ophthalmologist had shaken her hand. “Enjoy your new life,” he’d said.

Leaving Moorfields she headed for the Old Street roundabout, a vortex that sucked people under and round and out again, blue tubing holding an advert for the latest phone above. On her way, a mother and her scowling son glanced up at her and instead of features she saw colour: curdling yellow for the boy, bruised lilac for the mother; colours that brushed from face to body and back again. She blinked, looked up into the dull afternoon light as if a shard of coloured glass were suspended there. Nothing.

A trick of light, she told herself and shaking her head went on – just as a tall suited man with an open face passed in polished mahogany. A rich, hopeful colour.

She stopped. The Ophthalmologist had not emphasised any particular side effects. But the next time she closed her right eye.

The colours started at once, streaming from a couple of students, not only from faces and bodies but the air around them, as if revealing the secrets of Physics, or of God. It was too much. Shutting her eyes the colours gradually subsided.

What did it all mean? She considered returning to the hospital but by then the Ophthalmologist would be onto the next patient.

It was a relief to dip down to where electric lights muted all. Just in case, she kept her eyes on the station floor or the shop windows. And there, projected over metal chairs and counter, bored faces, she saw herself as never before, glowing in pale green, a subtle lucent jade and knew then that she was on the verge of something revelatory and important.

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