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We’re all in this plain room, touristy looking, with a long bank of tall windows in front of us, and to the left, a shorter bank of the same, with doors beside. Can’t see what’s behind me.

Looking through the windows at the corner, outside is an expressway in sheer chaos, bumper-to-bumper cars surround flashing lights about a central focus of activity, the nose of a plane, I think, and part of a wing. It’s neither night, nor day. Chaos consumes our field of view, to and a bit past the overpass.

Cruising along, bro says, “You can’t drive worth a shit, man”. We laugh. Dad, too, I think, but I don’t see him… or bro for that matter.

Somehow, as if the traffic doesn’t exist, a car speeds over it… around it… hell, I’ve no clue, but it smashed into the wing of this plane. We in the plain room, void of a reaction to this explosive addition to events, we are wondering how long the traffic will last before we can get back on the road. Just calmly waiting here, you see.

My chest wrenches, twisting from the inside, squeezing, some pain, unbelievable discomfort, then flash to black.

I am on a landing, where the stairs turn forty five degrees and up to my right and back, I’m leaning over the handrail, arms extended, screaming at these two doctors casually seated at a round cafeteria-like table below. One of them, the closer to me, is leaned back, hands clasped behind his head, leg in lap, eyes toward me sometimes.

All I see is them, the table, and maybe a vending machine behind. They’re just chillin’. Em’s in trouble.

I’m screaming, but the words aren’t coming out! Stuttering, reaching for the name of my Emy’s doctor, the name of our regular hospital. Got to make these guys know! This ain’t our hospital, they gotta know her history, I can’t tell them, they aren’t listening! My arms are flailing violently, reaching, pointing, “Her her she’s her she has has” now I cannot think of the doc’s name. Angry, frustrated, this is an emergency! She needs me! Damnit! Then it comes to me, not the right doctor, but good enough, and the name of the home hospital, but I still struggle to spit it out, then at last I do.

This goes on for minutes, me frantic, the docs down there casual. Finally, I remember the main home doctor’s name, and again, it takes a minute to say it! “She she u u usually see see sees dododoctor…. You guys gotta CALL!!

The reclining doctor down there looks at me again, no… through me. I hear somebody say “We know Em’s history”, monotone. I think it was him, but his face didn’t move.

My chest, this time, seven times the worse, two hands have hold of some elongated organ, each wringing it out like a dishrag. I can’t breathe, it goes and goes, deforming, contorting, till a sharp snakelike bite on the end. Severe don’t do it.

Flash to black. Minutes. No senses.

I look up, there’s a jagged paper bag type opening there above the black, out of reach, fluctuating. There is a room out there, a wall, a shelf, or a cabinet. Orange and a sort of off-blue.

As I claw toward the opening, I begin to sing. I don’t know this song. The words are not words, least not English. My voice is a beautiful thing to behold. This raspy, yet perfectly soothing sound, coming from a man who cannot sing a lick! I know they hear it, and they are as awed as me at the beauty. I can’t see them, don’t know who they are, just that they exist, how they feel. It might be my wife and daughters.

Almost at the opening, then the black is gone. I sit up from what I guess is a bed, and as I rise, begin to see my image in a large mirror in front of me. I am unaware of my body, someone’s in the room, to my left.

Still singing, divinely, peace, they agree. Truly didn’t know I had it… know that I don’t.

In the mirror, who is that? Long, featureless white face, with neck-length straight brown-black hair, very young human type is looking back at me. It’s not male or female that I can tell, blurry, but the eyes are dark and bright, giving the youth, and I think the face might be scarred, pitted, not sure but the hair and eyes.

Still singing… it is beautiful, though I think I died tonight, with the others in the tourist room. Emy’s fine, Mom checked.

~tdv

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