Pain, Pills, and Pupils

            She calls out to me, her eyes wide with pain and fear.  Before sleep she was in pain from the accident but something has changed since then.  I helplessly pepper her with suggestions: ice, heat, sleep sitting up?  She calls to her mother who passed in recent years.  She calls to any gods who have ears.  I may look still but so do sprinters on the starting blocks.  She gives the word and we’re off to the emergency room; the nice one that we took her boss’s wife to at a similarly late hour; it may be a bit farther a way but the time will be more than made up with a shorter wait.  It seems this ER is a well kept secret in a big city, or at least it is at 2am.  The transmission works twice as hard to move from stop sign to stop sign and makes a strange whistling sound.  The car wants to quit on us, that’s all I need.  Park-up the ramp-on the shiny dark wood floors to the lady.  Nice lady; good.  We don’t even sit down when baldish peach fuzz head in a Hawaiian shirt calls: “Tir. . . Thira. . .”  “That’s her,” comes out of my mouth in synch with her “That’s me.”  I’m at a point where I recognize the silence before someone tries to read her name.  He talks about her pretty name and is nice to her, good.  Then she’s gone and I’m in the land of podcasts and late night horror movies. 

 

Later Vincent price and a plain clothes cop are looking at a tiny fly with a human head calling ‘heeelp meeee’ from a spider web.  She comes out with papers and a new bracelet with her name on it and they have given her some pills.  She tells me she has whiplash.  Seems whiplash can show up well after the accident.  Nothing broken and we’re on our way back home.  She starts talking about liquid balance beams and the wonders of fish.  With and accompanying nod for each word she tells me: “People, eat, fish.” 

 

“Yes, people and bears and other fish.”

 

“Bears.” She giggles.

 

They gave her good pills.  Very good.  Help her out of the car and she’s awake again and on the bed within 12 minutes the fear and pain are back.  “It’s not working!”  I know she would be would be way too embarrassed to go back to the same emergency room but the pain doesn’t care about any of that.  Same trip, same struggling transmission, same nice lady but this time Hawaii Peach Fuzz is a bit cold.  You just jumped lists buddy.  This time I’m watching hulk get he with sonic cannons on my ipod when a nurse calls me in to see her.  She’s laying on a shiny bed under the bright lights in a wall to wall equipment and medical stuff room with an I.V.  in her arm.  She seems out cold but her eyes flicker to life when I get close and her fingers ask for me.  I hold her hand.  “Good stuff eh?”  “It’s odd, it’s a bit like. . . WHOOOOM (That’s the sound of something in the morphine family hitting her. It doesn’t actually make a sound but it’s just that clear that something is different now).  She went from sleepy eyes one instant, then blink, then pupils open so big that all the light that isn’t nailed down is falling in.  And I know she’s going to be ok for a while.  Bless all the gods who have ears for good drugs.

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