Daylyn Carrigan

Daylyn Carrigan is a junior from Puyallup, WA, studying English Writing and Communications. She is a poet, photographer, and songwriter, who finds that inspiration strikes most often at three a.m. so she keeps a pen and journal by her bedside, hoping to catch the words before they slip away.

Flickers

A photograph of a person turning their head to their left shoulder. The photograph captures the blur of that movement.

When I wasn’t looking, something else

moved in. My old roommate had stripped

the walls the way a fisherman scales a

fish, with speed and precision. Washed in

a sea of beige, the only decoration left was a

square mirror that rested between the two small

closets. This is where The Other Self lived. I noticed it

first in the flicker of a small overhead light, but eventually,

I began to see it all the time, from every angle of my boxy shelter.

I could see the coil of its hair, springing about when the figure

turned to watch me. I could see the fur of its brows,

shadows melting down the sides of its face. On cold,

winter days when it slipped through the thin glass, The Other Self

would follow me through sleet-lined streets and fever-born delusions,

monotonous treks from dorm to cafeteria to dorm, various

catalysts to unbridled loneliness. Loneliness, the kind

of emotion where you have to cross an absolute peak before

anything can get better. In this way, during the peak, we became

companions. One could not exist without the other, so when I needed an ear,

it gave me two. If I sought a fresh pair of eyes, it had a set. Between

blinks we merged, two ghosts with a single body. In daylight hours, when

the clouds are too wispy to drizzle and my skateboard can come out of hibernation,

it is myself that is in control. At dusk, by the pulse of the overhead light,

reflecting in the mirror, The Other Self reappears.

And maybe I am not so alone.