Letting Life Lead
I died on September second in the year 2090, and was born on November the third in the year 3011. As the saying goes, I wasn’t all dead. A bad reaction to medication caused a super-cerebromedullospinal disconnection — a person retains all consciousness and higher function, but can’t move any part of their body except their eyes. Ninety-percent die within four months. My case was “super” because I didn’t have even eye movement nor the luxury of death. Instead, I dreamed. A machine told them I existed there inside. I caused quite the sensation! They thought about calling my unique and puzzling condition Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, but that was taken. Instead, they settled on Caer’s Syndrome.
I know these things because of my personal Nurse Blair who spoke to me even if she thought I couldn’t hear. I didn’t realize for some time that I experienced acute lag-time and couldn’t understand things as they occurred, but only when they passed. It wasn’t unlike gazing at starlight only to discover that the visible twinkling originated from a star long dead. What a mind fuck that is. Yet, my mind is peculiar.
I always imagined Blair as having black hair dyed in a rainbow of colors and held aloft in two pony tails so that she could wear her nurse’s hat at a saucy angle. In my inner eyes, her face always changed, but she wore the traditional white dress and shoes with ridiculous socks. It must have been her berry scented grooming products that made me hallucinate her that way. She would tell me what day and year it was, when she turned the lights on, what the room looked like, what was on the table, and what color she dressed me in that day. She relayed news, read my favorite books, and a few torturous volumes. When they brought in the experimental full body suit dotted with electrodes to stimulate my muscles, she told me it was a hideous display of blue polka dots on a white and black chevron pattern. Sometimes she held scented cotton balls under my nose that tasted of wonderful things like chocolates, apple pie, and roast turkey.
My brain manifested an interpreter to reconcile the lag. I called her Connie. She would sit suspended in the nothingness until I asked, “What’s on tonight, Connie.” Then I could know what had happened. Blair’s snippets were among the most vivid as she never seemed to stop talking. I could visualize all that she described; I could feel for brief moments that I was out there. Even if it was just little more than a snapshot, I longed for each one. Then one day, Connie had no news from Blair anymore, and I didn’t visit the newsvoid for a long time. I cannot say for how long, for time seemed at once short and infinite.
Most of my time I spent in dreams that grew increasingly bizarre and difficult to remain in a lucid state. The fear of getting lost prompted me to return to Connie who told me that the prognosis was poor, my closest living relatives had signed the order, and I’d been moved to the cryogenic program. No one thought to explain it to me like Blair. Perhaps, my body lay in a dark box in a drawer upon a wall. Hundreds of technically dead popsicles waiting to thaw in a living morgue.
I tried to find an exit: mirrors, bedknobs, fireplaces, tunnels, manholes, keyholes, wardrobes, and old doors. None of these worked to connect me to the outside. On a whim, though, I followed a new recurring dream I had previously ignored of me laboring hard in a farmhouse in the middle of the night. I touched her and my hand went through her belly like a dream mirror when you want to test for reality. “Not yet,” she panted speaking through gritted teeth, “Soon! We’ve almost got it.” Well, damn. That pumped some life into me!
I felt drawn to that dream at the exclusion of all others, looping it over and over. In the last play through, when I placed my hand upon her abdomen I fell in, crashed into an icy white pit, and opened my real eyes. The collective music of numerous voices threw me back a bit harder than I ever expected. My lost anatomy began to re-materialize.
“Can you hear me, Kaira? Feel that?”
I wept countless yeses!
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