If I could endure the sound of this fury, I could endure making my bladder hold out for the hour. I worked hard for the next few minutes to remind myself that I had healthcare. This was high technology and I was lucky to have it. This was a world-class test and I had benefits for it. When I signed up, I certainly didn’t see this cylinder as one of them. However, my claustrophia seemed like a simple matter compared to others that had to experience being locked up involuntarily.
There were prisoners in solitary. It must be a quick way to insanity and a slow way to death. I only had to endure minutes. What about people that were buried alive? They wouldn’t even have the means to put themselves out of their own misery. I got a reality check that I was in control of my destiny. If I could tolerate the pressure on my head, the darkness, the noise and a rigor mortis body for an hour, I’d be home free.
The tube must have heard me thinking. It sent a helicopter to pick me up. Those damn propeller blades were as loud as anything I’d heard so far. It even called the Emergency broadcast system because I could hear the high whine and steady flatline beep in the foreground. This scan seemed to last forever. Damn straight it was an emergency. But I sure as hell didn’t want to hear a broadcast. I just wanted to sit in a meadow of silence. For eighty days.
I started to wonder what they were doing in the next room with all this technology. There were more sounds this time. They seemed to be different and a larger variety than I’d heard in my past years. I started to picture the women I’d seen earlier changing the tones and volume level to watch my brain waves go askew. They were giggling and acting like Dexter’s sister, “What does this button do?” Bitches.
They weren’t air traffic controllers at those switch boards. They were mad scientists. The only compassion they’d shown was giving me non-working ear plugs. After that, they put my head in a vice, wedged in more pads and then put a helmet on my head. Frankenstein? OK, the bride of Frankenstein? I’d say it was more like a womanly Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I went into that room as Donna Crowe and I was going to exit as Abby Normal.
I hadn’t been able to sleep or even count sheep. There sure as hell wasn’t room for anything else in here. Not a sheep, a dream bubble or even a fart.
I wondered if I’d said that out loud as they told me I was on my way out. No kidding!
They took me out long enough to tell me that now I could be given the injection. Oh yeah. I forgot about that part. Now the dyes get to creep through my veins, so they can now see me hallucinate in technicolor. Losing your sight must be hell. I stayed in my pin cushion state while Nurse Ratched tied a tourniquet around my arm and stuck me like a pig. “Is it burning?” She received a bit of a pause before I answered. Although it wasn’t a pause as much as momentary silent thoughts like, “Am I burning mad about this situation?” “Is my bladder burning by now?” “The confinement wasn’t enough, now you want me to burn too?” But I was gaining control of my fear and taking in the better air and openness around me for two minutes and said, “No, should it?” I thought we were going to have a conversation. I thought we must need time to determine how I was tolerating the injection. That wasn’t the case. “Perfect. You shouldn’t feel it at all. Now back inside.”
I never heard such a sweet sounding bitch as she put me back in my tunnel.
The intercom in my head explained that they just needed a few more scans for the facility. I was done with the scans for my study but now they needed an additional set. Right. We’d talked about that. Two weeks ago. I told myself that meant that I was more than halfway. I didn’t come this far to quit. I’d finish the last lap.
That’s when my brain started trying to take over the brain test again. The sounds that transpired from that point were scary. It sounded like an electronic keyboard and hot high wires in the middle of summer trying to melt a Fisher Cat. The pauses in between weren’t silent but like the sound on the radio when you cannot find a station. My imagination was letting me know that the machine was malfunctioning. The pressure against my head was nothing compared to the pressure in the machine. There had been no safety inspection. It was well overdue. I thought there was a screw loose – and it wasn’t me. The MRI was going to bust at the seam, two inches from my face. I worried about how much my face would hurt when a piece of metal burst into my helmet and stripped my nose off.
Ironically, that calmed me down. I figured if that really was going to happen, I better enjoy these last moments of non-cosmetic surgery. When I finally got out of here, I wouldn’t have ghastly wounds or lifetime scars. Any impact of this test would not be apparent to passersby. My wounds would be invisible to the naked eye. People cannot always spot crazy.
As I had this last rational thought, they released me from my hell hole. The nice ladies that had put blankets on me to stay warm were greeting me and saying I’d done great. If that was great, I wondered where the people that had done worse were right now? I sat up and tried to look from right to left. I stood up and felt woozy. They made me stay on my death bed and brought me some orange juice. They were bringing me back!
They were treating me like a princess now, as they walked me back to the lockers for my clothes and jewels. I don’t know that it was a good move on their part to leave me alone so quickly though. I was not in a normal state of mind after being locked up in my own body. I went behind the curtain and felt like a madman wizard. I took care of my bladder first. After that, I didn’t hesitate to put on my clothes or count my jewelry. I moved back the curtain and was starting to look and feel like myself.
I could still brush my hair. I could still read too. There was a pamphlet on my way out. It caught my eye. Clearly it was the Holy Spirit talking. I laughed. It told me to tell them about my experience. Looks like they’ll get an eyeful.