Editor's note: This article is satire.
This past month, I came down with an illness.
It wasn’t your average, travel-size Kleenex type of cold. It wasn’t COVID-19, strep throat or bronchitis. In fact, it wasn’t anything that modern medicine has ever seen — so rare, in fact, that even our esteemed staff at Campus Health was unable to diagnose it.
They’re calling it the Stilllife Sickness.
My symptoms began on a Wednesday morning. I woke to the faint sound of EDM, and wondered which of my roommates could possibly be listening to techno so early in the morning. I had slept 12 hours but I was feeling far more tired than usual — so loopy, in fact, it was almost as if I was tipsy.
Wobbling slightly, I made my way to the bathroom and flicked on the switch, closing my eyes so they had a chance to adjust to the light. But that’s when things got strange. My eyelids didn’t offer their usual cool, dark solace — instead, all I could see in every direction were strobe lights, flashing white and blue across my corneas.
I wrenched my eyes open and jumped back, in shock. How could that be possible? The strobe lights resembled those that would shine at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, not in my bathroom at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday. My head hurt just thinking about it — but come to think of it, my head had been hurting all morning. If only my roommate would stop playing "Mo Bamba" so I could focus on the medical mystery that was materializing before my strobe-afflicted eyes.
I had gone to bed at 10 p.m. the night before after a night of studying, so why did I feel so… hungover? I hadn’t even consumed alcohol since last Friday night at StillLife. I blew my nose, and what came out was not the regular assortment of snot-related gunk, but a brown-tinged liquid that smelled sharply of tequila.
What was happening to me? The EDM music was getting louder and louder, blasting at a volume no JBL is capable of. I slammed open the bathroom door and ran over to my roommate, Abby, who was calmly preparing avocado toast.