H. M. L. Swann
Day 35: Hospital
300 Days of Writing
Day 35 Hospital:
She woke up to bright lights and a tube up her nose.
There were voices all around her, but she couldn’t understand any of them, thick and heavy consonants slurred together with unfamiliar vowel combinations. She felt the woven cloth mattress under her and noticed that there were tubes stuck to her hands and forearms.
“Where am I?” she tried to ask, but her tongue lolled around in her mouth. Her head was full of cotton balls and she had to force her eyes to stay open. She scooted into a sitting position on the hard bed and noticed when she moved it smelled of mothballs. “Where am I?” she tried again, and this time, someone heard her.
A nurse, she presumed but couldn’t be sure on account of that they were wearing all black and a mesh net over their face. She spoke to her, again in that language she didn’t understand before the woman clicked a red button on a black box that spat out, in an automated electronic voice, “You’re in the hospital. Do you remember your name?” the box asked her in English.
“But how? Why?”
The woman spoke into the box again, which translated, “Do you remember your name?”
“Yes!” she said, full of indignation. “Of course I do. I’m…”
Her voice trailed away and the woman in the mesh mask patted her knee before getting up.
The nameless woman snatched at the nurse's arm. “Help me. I’m… I’m… so confused.”
The nurse nodded, gently pulling her hand off her arm and setting it on top of the scratchy mint-green bedding.
Then the nurse left and the nameless woman was alone.