Twelve Hours with the Dress: A Descent into Madness

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9:00 p.m.

Just got in from a nice night out. Hung out with some friends, ate at a nice restaurant, caught up on old times. It’s easy to forget the important people in your life, and to get lost in our day-to-day lives, but nights like this clarify what really matter. I have to make a note to do this more often.

Time log in to Twitter to see what I’ve missed…huh, that’s interesting—everybody’s talking about this dress that first appeared on Buzzfeed. I just took a look, and it’s this alternating white-and-gold number with lots of frills and a white bolero jacket. The weird thing is, some people see the dress as blue and black. I don’t really get it, since the colors are pretty obvious, but I guess it’s some kind of optical illusion, like a magic eye drawing?

Oh well—time to get ready for bed.

10:00 p.m.

You know what? I have to admit, this is bothering me a little bit. It seems like 25 percent of people are insisting that the dress is blue and black, and it’s throwing me for a loop. We never really know how people perceive colors—the concept of ‘red’ to me might mean something different to me than it does to my friend—but we agree on the actual identification of the color. Whatever we’re actually seeing, we know that fire trucks are red, and the sky is blue, and leaves are green. We don’t get tripped up on the words.

So what the hell is happening here? Everyone keeps linking to some pseudo-intellectual on Twitter who has a theory about rods and cones. The problem is, she thinks we’re confusing the black sections with the white sections, and the blue sections with the gold sections, when in actuality we’re confusing blue with white and black with gold. And honestly? It’s pissing me off that people keep linking to this stupid explanation. Why am I getting so angry at this?

Goddamit, why am I getting so angry?

The dress is white and gold. Any fool can see it.

11:00 p.m.

I mean, it’s just fucking obvious, right? Look at the fucking dress! It’s white and gold! Why are we even discussing this? The blue-and-black people are clearly just shitty people pulling some kind of terrible prank. It’s probably Reddit. They’re gaslighting us, trying to make us question our own sanity. And you know what? It’s not cool. It’s bullshit, and it’s evil, and it’s a form of cyber-terrorism. They should all be shot.

My mom just called. She sees the dress as blue and black. When the hell did my mom join Reddit?

I think I just screamed at her and said some pretty cruel things. Can’t remember exactly what. Something about how she ruined my life and that I never loved her? Hard to say—I blacked out there for a second.

Or should I say “golded out.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Why do I feel so light-headed?


Okay, I’ve started to read some explanations as they’ve popped up online in order to get control of my emotions. There’s this one about additive mixing from some forum, and a Wired article about backgrounds and color context, and Buzzfeed saying it’s all down to poor lighting. Nothing is really hitting home for me, though. The dress is white and gold. Some things we just know.

We just know them.

We just know them.

We just know them.

We just know them.

We just know them.

We white and gold them.

1:00 a.m.

Can’t sleep. Won’t sleep. Every hour of sleep is an hour I’ve lost for the cause.

The blue-and-blackers are saying this is the dress. But you know what the main difference is between that dress and the dress in the photo? THEY’RE DIFFERENT FUCKING COLORS.

Is it strange that I’m reading everything I type out loud?

Just tried to order a pizza, but Papa John’s is closed. Left an irate voicemail. Said I would see them tomorrow, but that they wouldn’t see me. All they would see, I said, was white and gold, and their blue-black lies would be exposed for good.

Who closes that early?

2:00 a.m.

My one west coast friend who’s still up, and has been a staunch white-and-gold advocate since the beginning, just told me the dress switched colors on him. To him, it’s now blue and black.

I kept my cool. I asked why he was trying to hurt me. I brought up the time he had his heart broken in college by a girl who had called him a loser. I told him she was right. I told him he would never amount to anything, and that if he died the world would be a better place. I was totally calm. I did not turn my caps lock key on even one time.

My head is bleeding where I pulled out a clump of hair.

3:00 a.m.

If the dress isn’t white and gold—AND I’M NOT CONCEDING THAT! I’LL NEVER CONCEDE THAT!—does it also mean that reality as we perceive it is a meaningless construct? I read somewhere that the closer we come to creating a world that’s like ours with computers, the more likely it becomes that we ourselves are a digital creation. If colors can just change, is that sign that it’s all fake? And if that’s true, what are the ethical implications?

Is it okay, for instance, that in the past half hour I’ve knocked on my neighbor’s door and run away three times, and that I’m now hunched behind my window, wondering if the lights on the cop car are truly blue and red? Is it okay that when they’re gone, I’m going to sneak into my other neighbor’s house, the ones on vacation, and steal their white wedding dress?

4:00 a.m.

Almost fell asleep. Would be really risky right now.

Just listened to the song “Blue on Black” by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Realized he has been singing “white on gold” the whole time.

Realized the whole world is divided into white/gold and blue/black.

Realized this is the heart of good and evil. God and the devil are real. They are colors.

I am wearing a wedding dress.

5:00 a.m.

What color is fire? I asked myself. Fire is orange, or red, or yellow. On the only spectrum that matters, it is closest to gold.

That means fire is good. Cavemen used fire to keep the darkness at bay. They used gold to ward off the black. I’m starting to see things so clearly.

I’m going to light this whole block on fire.

6:00 a.m.

Am in the woods now, much harder to type. Watching things burn. Called the police and admitted my guilt. I told them they would never catch me. I told them my name:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the Golden-White Bride of Justice.

7:00 a.m.

The sun is up. The golden sun. The black night has receded. All will be forgiven. I can hear the dogs in the distance. They are coming for me, as are the police. The ground is wet and cold, but I am moving east, toward the golden source of all life.

“He’s wearing a wedding dress!” I hear one of them shout, in the distance.

What color do the police wear? Blue. Blue with black.

8:00 a.m.

I am a creature of snow and sun, of white and gold. The dogs cannot touch me, for I am ephemeral. I am a blushing bride. I am pure love, and pure light.

Just called my mom to say goodbye. She cried, and seemed to be begging, but the only words I could hear were “blue. black. blue. black.”

I will now face my pursuers, using only the pure-white force of fingernails and teeth. I cannot be stopped.

9:00 a.m.

Prison. All in all, I have to say I’m glad to be out of the forest, even if they tased the shit out of me after I tried to bite a dog.

I tried to explain myself, but they’re treating me with the kind of cautious distance you reserve for crazy people. I can’t expect them to understand.

They gave me a nice meal, though. Eggs, sunny-side up. White and gold. They asked me if I take cream with my coffee. I told them I take only the cream.

One weird thing: As they were taking me in, I looked past the main desk, where the booking officer was staring at the dress on his computer. It looked blue and black.

Maybe it’s just a weird trick of the light? Go figure! Anyway, gotta go. They’re giving me my one phone call, and I have some business to settle with Papa John’s.