• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 05
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Dire Straits

All I remember was driving, humming along to that Dire Straits tune; something about a detective - then white noise. The sort of noise you can smell. I guess that's some kind of chemical your body releases, maybe that's the smell of adrenaline? A flash. Feeling weightless, then the weight of my body pressed against my chest, the seat-belt a hammock. Gravity. Bones against metal, flesh ice-cream, scooped into balls. White flash. Indistinct muffled voices. Men. I hear two words. Can you? Machinery whirring, high pitched like those tree beetles in Australia. I remember Australia, all flip-flops and skinks. "Can ... hear me..." I'm weightless as they lift me and my arm dangles. "You're going to be..." Australia again. Hot tarmac playground. A whistle blown. Darkness. Now it is cooler. Am I home? Quiet. Whispers. Someone walks by slowly, like shuffling slippers. Voices are clearer now. I open my eyes but cannot move. My mouth is parched. I try to move my arms. A nurse. I see a nurse. She tells me so I understand; I suddenly understand. I am covered from head to toe in plaster; my arms pinned out front; like a white marionette. My bones are all mixed up; suspended in space. I remember the first question I asked as a kid about going to space: how do you go to toilet with those white spacesuits on? Yeah, Nurse, how do I?