I remember it well because it was the last thing worth remembering and, of all days, it happened on a Tuesday. The sky was impeccably blue, and it was finally cool enough to go outside without being wrung out like a gym towel. I saved my breaks for the second half of the day so as to make the day go faster, and I used those breaks to go to the designated smoking area to make all of this go a little faster. I had a few left of my third Last Pack of the year and I was torn between savoring them or burning through them. I went to the corner of the little fenced in area where smoking was permitted and in no way would any of this bad smoke trickle through the many gaps in the aluminum fence and pollute the FitBit types who used their breaks for walking or even jogging. I was on my phone catching up on everyone. The usual; someone is pregnant, someone is engaged, someone isn’t engaged, someone hasn’t died, someone did. I didn’t or haven’t interacted with any of these people in years. I just flip through them occasionally like a bathroom book. I don’t need to really focus, I just need the gist.
What snaps me out of it usually is the time, ever present at the top of my phone. And I am sure to milk every last second until, under seemingly no control of my own, I find myself back at my desk with earphones in. This time it was a scream, the kind of scream that matches your body’s frequency and melts through to your core. No one screams at work. It’s an activity reserved for home. By the time I found the screamer all the blood in her body pooled to her shoes and she was crashing to the ground, several people rushing to break her fall. The whole time, the woman’s eyes were fixated to the sky. I followed her line of vision to the sky, when I saw the sky blink. Above us, all of us, I could have only presumed, was a planetary eye. It matched the color of the sky, though when I tried to get the story straight later on some people claimed it was brown, green, and even pitch black. Some people remember it eclipsing the sun, casting Earth into darkness. Some people didn’t see it at all, but wanted to latch their claim to the event early on so they would have something to talk about. To me the eye was blue. My eyes are blue. It had a pupil that dwarved the moon. There were shimmering, squiggly bands that seemed to encompass the pupil and everything blue in the eye seemed to gravitate toward it. It stared at me, at all of us. It was overbearing. It didn’t move and yet it felt like it was crushing me. I almost couldn’t look at it. I tried to comprehend a body to go with the eye. It was a sensation that paralyzed me to the bench I had been sitting on.
“Cut it out.”
The voice rang across the Earth, coming on a strong wind, shaking trees and bones alike.
And just like that, the eye was gone, disappeared, and who knows when it would come back again.
I took the afternoon off work. Most people did, I think, for the loss of productivity ended up being newsworthy. The unthinkably large eye dominated news outlets for a few days before it was certain that there would be no why, that sometimes these things happen and we’re left asking more questions than getting answers. It happened, and then it wasn’t. Was it God? Was it a mass hallucination? Was it the collective unconscious? I don’t know, but a lot of us are very worried about the whole thing, and we’re hoping that whoever needed to cut it out, has.
But if it thinks I’m cutting smoking, well…