Pereidolia: Do you see that face in the clouds?


pepper pereidoliaDeath resided in one of the three latex glove boxes on the wall  just inside the door to my ICU room.

I called him Hannity.

Occupying the other two boxes were George W. Bush and a Peruvian pygmi with sharpened teeth. Their faces appeared in the vinyl peaking through the box openings. They haunted me for days.

Plotting with a very young and innocent looking RN I’ll call Lynn, the trio of terrors were intent on kidnapping me.

Maybe I wanted them to.

Those days right after surgery were extremely dark and frightening.

Pereidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random image being perceived as significant, such as seeing animals or faces in clouds.

Well, I saw faces in wads of latex gloves.

Mean ones.

“Do you see him?” I repeatedly asked which ever family member had the task of hanging out with me.

Poor Marina, my daughter seemed stuck spending nights with me and it was always night.

“George Bush is looking out of that middle box.” I insisted.

“Do you see them?”

“Can you take the box down? Can you take them all down? The top one has the little guy with sharp teeth. I don’t like those boxes. And there, in the bottom one, that’s Hannity. See him?”

“Do you see anything Gabriel?” Marina asked my son.

They giggled together, that sweet sibling laughter they still share.

I was smiling even before Gabriel said, “Yeah, I kind of do see George Bush.”

“See! Can we take them down now? Can you just turn them backwards so I can’t see the openings?”

“The nurses use those gloves, mom, they need easy access to them.”

“Can you just go rearrange the gloves poking out, that might make them go away,” I asked.

“We can do that.”

One of the kids got up and poked around the gloves and the faces disappeared. My memory of the evil within the boxes did not.

That particular hallucination never completely faded.

The episode involving the life raft equipped with a strobbing SOS beacon and room for a dog superseded it for a while.

Caught in rushing torrents of floodwaters, I spun wildly down waterfalls and white water rapids. Wondering why they gave me a raft with a special spot for my dog.

I had no dog.

Didn’t even like them.






About Vic Cobb Fountain

Empowered Stroke survivor: appreciating where I've been, anticipating where I'm going.
This entry was posted in family, stroke, stroke recovery, stroke survivor, words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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