Rahana K. Ismail
I open my eyes and instantly know that I have missed all the drama.
It must have been there. At the stroke, the storm.The wail. The eyes, in an incredulous instant, thundered to nebulous clouds. The shock shaking awake the glaciers to flood.The tumult.The tears.And I missed all of it!
Wasn’t there a storm? There must have been. Everyone has one. Must have been exhilarating, electrifying. And I slept through it as if I didn’t care! I do care; I was in the spotlight for once. It was my storm, my day, my trailing away. I wondered how it had been—just as I had envisioned all my years or were there someone slinking around with a drippy dampener? I cannot ask anyone, I have no spies among them.
Now the cry has dried up. The hue has hailed away. It’s all over and shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, I slept through it all. I can’t believe it! So much for the build-up through the decades!
This is the silence after the storm (if there was one, that is). Some still must have wet clothes. Wet clothes that crystallize into frozen creases; leaving behind ruts, furrows cut deep and many. Others are off to their mansions to dry off and change into new steaming ensembles, carefully curated for the occasion.
I will my eyes to look around—sleeping in for too long; wake up and do your thing, twins!
It hurts. It flashes to me that my head is an oval for the perimeter of that very oval is pulsing like some crazed aureolar halo. I shut my eyes. Had I been reading the whole night? Which article? A magazine? Investor Tales? A poem I have never picked up? A poem! When have I ever read one?
After an undefined lapse of time, I open my eyes once again, this time slowly, giving them time to settle into the pool of light so that they can drink it in pixel by pixel.
The sky above is dreamily white and completely cloudless. Either that or chock full of thin white sheets of clouds. No, ceiling of white plaster. Home? The lack of wisps of grey dreamy veils at the corners immediately discredits that postulate. No, this ceiling is not under my hand of governance.
My internal coordinates and calculator takes a while to gear up—everything comes into focus soon. The perfectly bordered up ceiling, a long bar of light, I scrunch my eyes close and open again, the noncommittal landscape framed in softwood, a garden with all the petals mulled and mushed to mud? The bland circle, 6:30. The steel high table, it must be cold to the touch, it sends a cold shiver through me, on casters—I doubt they could wheel around; the rust congealed in the crevices. Switchboards with sockets, many of them, waiting to receive new occupants, neatly aligned in different altitudes along the wall. A reclusive cupboard dragged into place to attend to the room—unwilling to take on the new duties; therefore gruff and sullen brown.
“Eneeto? I will call the doctor.”
I don’t see the source, just a flash of white, neatly camouflaged against the white wall. Everything snaps into place then.
The drama is over—the stroke and shock.The post drama party in the hospital.Should be fun. I will ask this doctor how long I would have to stay here until I can slip back to my old routine at home—nothing much, slacking around, dozing off and of course waking up to a very different ceiling—festooned with the gothic bride-veil. And of course there is office. It feels all distant to me now. Like the greener grass on the other side. Only it is early morning, the sun isn’t up, the dew rules it all.
In newspapers, the world is flooding. Relief camps mushroom. Without relief, reeling, it breaks into islands. She is surrounded by dry drought in clotted and coagulated blood.
Sodium Citrate-added blood sloshes around in its newfound freedom.
“Who will take her blood and urine to the lab?”