Where I Woke

April 9, 2012
By Anonymous

My eyes register the fluorescent light on their lids, heavy- like lead as I melt into conscience. My bones settle into reality as metallic beats punctuate my hazy thoughts. A split second of ignorance, then I realize where I am. The knowledge swims through the gauzy curtains of my room and alights in my mind. It is soft, sterile, and as certain as the faint pain in my arm where the IV pierces my vein. The sluggish gray of the walls is barely visible between the arrays of machinery, scattered like artwork. I see my heartbeat on a screen, connected to hard squares stuck to my chest. My body is an alien, barely concealed beneath the thin scrubs they’ve given me, and connected to half the machines in the room. I feel like fainting.

I remember passing out in the ER, the memory painful as it collides with the fog in my brain. They were putting the IV in. I remember voices, screaming, and my face feeling like a cloud, and the coldness in my blood. I remember waking up to the silence in the hallways as a determined nurse pushed me through stubborn doors. The intense nausea as they drew yet more blood, checking, always checking. And my mother’s face.

My mind gets stuck in the twisted creases in her skin, mostly filled with soft salt water, trying to smile for my sake. The question in her eyes, I could not answer. I cannot answer. I am suddenly aware that she is next to me, sitting up in a cot identical to mine, but without the restraining gates. She’s eating a muffin. It looks so mundane, except her eyes are red, and she looks as if she hasn’t slept. I am numb, and all I know is that I do not want to see her, talk to her, do anything to burst the state of sweet and painless denial that I am in. I do not want to think about last night.

But there it is. Harsh and tumbling, the image of my hands and the bottle, the cup slowly emptying, and the pills as they slid down my throat. The car ride lasted ages, my dad cursing like he always does, and my mom sobbing, screaming at him to make the turn. Then signing in, with the nurse who noted the panic in the eyes of my parents and shuffled us through to a separate room. The nice man asking me questions, to which my answer remained and remains a consistent “I don’t know.” The confusion and pain engulfs me yet again. I close my eyes and shiver, then my mother looks at me. I am haunted by the ghosts in her eyes, shallowly swimming from her soul to mine. Their fingers claw open the careful casing I’ve built around my emotions, and I can’t be numb anymore. The pain is pinpricks in my eyes, building like a tidal wave, crashing like a hot summer storm. I cannot stand it. I choose instead to ignore it, separating my consciousness into my fingers as I fumble for the hard remote by my pillow. I look over at my mother, who is looking down again, drops falling on her napkin. I turn on the TV.

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