Friday, November 20, 2015
Day 11.234 The Room Was Dark
There are wires and electrodes attached to my body.
Most of them secured with a gooey gum-like substance below the hair line on my scalp.
I have a junction box resting on my chest that weights as much as an old laptop.
My face is plastered with tape and sensors.
I am wearing two elastic belts around my chest and belly.
Each of my legs has a sensor sticker connected to one red and one white wire.
The only light from the room comes from two light emitting red diode cameras, one pointed at my toes and the other between my ears.
I have a hose secured to my nose, surgical tubing running up each nostril.
I hear a distance and disturbing sound like a bazooka tuning for a recital, seeking a tragic tonal target.
The room is as cold as it is stark.
It took the nurse, Opal, almost an hour to attach all the monitor leads and explain what they do, how they do it. But not why.
The bazooka is now grinding an organ in another room far down the hall.
Opal's calm voice comes on the intercom. Can you hear me?
Without moving your head, look up with your eyes.
To the left.
Open your mouth wide.
Make a snoring sound.
Grind your teeth.
Point the toes on your left foot.
Now the right.
Take a deep breath and hold.
Tighten the muscles in your abdomen and hold.
What are the last four digits of your Social Security number?
OK, good night, don't move and we'll see you in seven hours.
And if you need to pee, call me.
Call you how?
Just talk, we're listening.
Eight hours later I am on a ferry boat heading home, test over.
I witness a glorious sunrise and consider all the metaphors.
The room was dark.