Thursday, January 19, 2006

Glossy Green

That's what I remember most.

Green tiles. Green paint. Green metal.

Not shiny, like something bright and new, but glossy, like something old that's kept spotlessly clean.

They made me stand up on a machine. It was cold at the bottom, on the soles of my feet, and even colder at the top where they made me rest my chin so they could stretch me up uncomfortably tall. Take a deep breathe, they said, and hold it while they take a picture of my insides. It was cold in the middle, too, where they needed to take the pictures. Another deep breathe, another picture. They made me wear a paper shirt instead of my real one. Just one more. And then that had to come off too.

They sat me up on the bed and took the paper shirt off. They put gunk in big spots all over my chest and put little suction cups with wires attached on the same spots - like ET and Elliot when the bad guys came to get them. I sat and waited for them to finish. I wanted to go back out into the waiting room and read Highlights. I wanted to go home.

The doctor put the pictures up on the wall and turned on the light. She's fine, he told my mom. I'm always fine.

Does she still play soccer? Yes, she still pays soccer. Good, good. Any problems? None.

Except that I'm only ok, I'm only good at stopping goals, I'm not very good at scoring them. But that's not what he means.

On the way in there is a camera and a TV. I remember looking up and seeing myself on the grainy screen. But I'm too little. I don't remember being that little. I don't know if the memory is real. Or if I mixed them up. Mixed up what it looked like today and the pictures of me when I was little.

I'm wearing a dress, like in the pictures. I like wearing dresses, but I don't wear them very often. Why would I wear one to the hospital? So I think it's made up.

My memories don't make sense anyway. I don't remember coming here last year or the year before that. At least not until I'm already here. I don't remember what it looks like, or what's going to happen. But then we are here, and they're telling me to do stuff, and I remember having been here before, having done this before.

There is paper on the bed. Why would anyone want a paper blanket? I'm cold. I want a real blanket.

We have McDonald's on the way home. I get a Happy Meal as a treat, to make up for having to go. I'd rather just not go.

I'm supposed to go so they can make sure I'm ok. But I'm always ok. I can't remember when I wasn't. It was too long ago, I was too little. Like in the pictures. I've been ok for forever. Why do I still have to go?

I know I'm lucky. But it doesn't feel that way.

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