Seeing Double

More is not always better especially when it comes to getting an eye full. I know we shouldn’t say that we have seen enough of the excellent American president but even he would get fed up if this was what he could see in the mirror every day.

Well since my brain haemorrhage a year ago now I have had a touch of this annoying condition particularly if I am looking at something about two feet away from me. The double images aren’t vertical like in the picture above, for me the images are spread sideways and it is, or can be really confusing especially when hand sparring with a kungfu partner where, for me, eight hands come into play.

This morning I have been at the Eye Hospital where I had an appointment to see a specialist in double vision.

I usually get into a muddle when I have to take eye tests. Those rows of different sized letters that you have to read reduce to me absurd degrees of pedantry when I am asked whether I can see them more clearly with this lens or that. I like to be precise in these things so unless I am absolutely sure that lens one is better than lens two I usually the optician’s patience to an extreme.

Luckily the trendy young doctor today had plenty of patience as I was put through my paces with various optical games where he tried to get me to describe the level of visual distortion that I was experiencing.

“Do you see double now?”

“Umm….well I think so…..”

“What do you see?”

“Well, it is difficult to describe…….”

That sort of thing was repeated through various experiments with the doctor pointing a small torch at me from various angles whilst I was forbidden to move my head. He said I was doing fine but I felt I was getting all the answers wrong.

The thing is, I have found since suffering a degree of brain damage, that some sensations are really difficult to describe. It is easy when the image is obviously double with a fair margin between them but often it is more of a vague sensation of impermanence about objects which ought to appear solid.

I had to do everything again with one eye blocked by a shield and then the other one before we went on to the dreaded eye chart where I managed to surpass myself in pedantic analyses of how clearly I could read the letter A and so on.

All through this process I was drawn to a small tragic looking a clown puppet hanging from the ceiling just by the chart.

“Will I get to see the puppet show?” I asked

“You won’t be needing that” he laughed. “Your eyes are fine. In fact the muscle movement in them is very good so you don’t actually have anything wrong physically with your vision. It is a misconnection with the brain which you will probably learn to correct but don’t quote me on it.”

Woops. I think I just quoted you doctor. How strange the brain is. The more I think about the tricks my brain has played on me since my brain haemorrhage the less secure anything seems.

The doctor, who was the epitome of cool in his skinny grey t-shirt and designer jeans, told me that the most important thing to do was to relax about it all. He said the more frustrated I get with my eye sight the worse the distortions would get. OK, man. I will chill out about it from now onwards because you do seem to know what you are doing.

He told me that I would be called back in a few months for some more tests and that I would have to see another doctor who would see if there were any other possible underlying causes for this weird condition. I stayed cool just like he told me too and put out of my mind all those potentially nasty things that could yet be discovered about the way my brain tells my eyes what they should see.

I nodded to the puppet and double checked with the doctor that he really wasn’t going to give me a puppet show but as I looked him straight in the eye, he did look a bit like the picture below. But hey, that’s cool. I am just not going to worry about it dude.



My novel, Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love, was published  on 31 October 2013. It is the story of a young fogey living in Brighton in 1967 who has a lot to learn when the flowering hippie counter culture changes him and the world around him.
It is now available as a paperback or on Kindle (go to your region’s Amazon site for Kindle orders)
You can order the book from the publishers, Ward Wood Publishing:
…or from Book Depository:
…or from Amazon:
My second novel, Blue Notes, Still Frames, will be published in 2015 by Ward Wood Publishing. It begins with Joe Edevane, a Brighton street busker with surprizing powers who borrows a towel from well-heeled strangers, Alan and Rachel, for his Goth girlfriend, Victoria, and begins a chain of events that changes all of their lives.


Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love
Ward Wood Publishing
October 30, 2013


Genius Floored: Uncurtained Window
Soaring Penguin Press
June 15, 2013
Poetry anthology
Genius Floored: Whispers in Smoke
Soaring Penguin Press
June 6, 2014
Poetry anthology
Reaching Out
Cinnamon Press
December 2012
Poetry and short story anthology
Tic Toc
A Kind Of A Hurricane Press
June 2014
Poetry anthology
In The Night Count The Stars
Bittersweet Editions
March 1, 2014
An “uncommon anthology” of images, fragments, stories and poetry.


The Blotter
The Blotter Magazine Inc.
November 2009
Three pages of poetry in the American South’s unique, free, international literature and arts magazine.

The Fib Review
Musepie Press
My Fibonacci poetry has appeared in this journal from 2009 until the present
Shot Glass Journal
Muse Pie Press
My poetry has appeared in various issues of this short form poetry journal

Every Day Poets Magazine
Every Day Poets
I have various poems of the day published in this 365 days a year poetry magazine.


  1. I get this most of the time – mine is a common-or-garden squint. I've had two ops to correct it, and may end up having another! I know far too much about how they stretch muscles in the eye and wrap it round something.

    But the morphine makes it all worthwhile.

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