“The Man In the Mirror”
Patience is a virtue, but a patient patient can leverage good behavior.
The name of my first and favorite nurse was Miss Jones, but she confided in me her first name: Amalthea. I chose not to ask if she was aware of her Greek counterpart, although she willingly agreed to let me know when the neurologist was lurking about. Take that, Zeus.
Much to my chagrin, my legs were near useless, but I could at least use a walker to stand up and to use facilities on my third day of wakefulness. To my near horror, tubes hadn’t been only been inserted into my arm.
Being coherent enough to communicate, a small army of clerical workers formed a line to my bedside, each with various amounts of paper work. Fortunately, there wasn’t a need to empty my pockets and pauper myself while still bedridden, only a few agreements that I would render payment afterward. I didn’t concern myself much with any of that; my first goal was to escape the hospital ward.
What was of interest were details of how I came to awaken there: pneumonia, brought on by a nasty influenza and exacerbated by a secondary infection, just when the body was most vulnerable after fighting off the first. I was non-responsive when I was found, and the medics stabilized me there to ensure safe transport to this hospital. Everything in my body had shut down to stay alive, hanging on until help thankfully arrived.
Shouldn’t I be possessed with mortal thoughts? Death brushed close to me without a hint of dread. Was I inhuman?
It made a kind of sense to blame it upon my displacement, a constant out-of-body experience. The mirror in the facilities might as well have been empty. I didn’t know the image reflected in it, nor did I desire to.
When I was alone in the room, I deactivated the television and mused over the possibilities, from the mundane to the fantastic to the fanatical.
Suppose I was an old soul that had found my way into an empty body. Perhaps I was a historian of a bygone era that confused a fantasy of another time with my current lifetime. There was always the possibility a Dr. Frankenstein had gifted me a new chance at life.
It wasn’t fear driving me; it was fascination… and all the opportunities therein.
The former occupant of this shell, the aforementioned Mr. *********, was no longer in control. I smiled at the idea I was an alien invader, secretly positioned as an infiltrator, sent to spy on the dominate species of the planet.
I caught the neurologist out of the corner of my eye, lurking in the hallway once again. I tried and failed not to smirk.
“Can you tell me what year it is, Mr. *********?”
“You’ll get no satisfaction from me, Earthling. Tell your leaders to dismiss my demands at their peril.”
And there he goes…!
Continue Reading In Chapter 3
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