She awoke in the hospital. Some type of drug altered her vision and she was feeling no pain. She stood up in a panic. The television light ran down the wall in blue, green, red, black, and violet liquid streams. The curtains undulated as if caught in a tropical maelstrom. The twilight could be seen through the partitioned curtains; the split in the middle opened on the strong beats of a salsa rhythm, the buildings beyond swayed, flexed, and pressed in on the glass, dancing mad children in sequin costumes. The TV made groaning sounds, drawn out groans, the wavering psychedelic drones of a Theremin; she had to turn it off. She sat up, exited the bed, and walked up to the beast. The colors still running from the towering screen, running down the pale yellow walls, running onto her hands and arms, turning crimson, she reached up, fully extended on her tip toes she could barely touch the power button. She moved to press it and nothing happened… Where’s the remote control?…She turned and saw it laying on the nightstand beside the lamp. She saw many other things when she looked that way, but only one disturbed her.
There was an I.V., constantly dripping, marking off the odd metered phrases with the sound of a triangle. A stack of monitors on a rolling stand kept track of her breathing, her heart rate, her blood pressure and other vital information. Every flat surface, the dresser, the card table, the shelves below the TV that stretched the length of the wall opposite the monitors and the bed, even the top of the generic particle board wardrobe in the corner, were laden with vases full of flowers. Orchids, roses, lilies, and mums living in suspended animation; their colors did not run or waver, the petals and pistils and remaining leaves did not blow in the violent magnetic way as did the curtains. The flowers sat still in the vases, singing the melody high above the mad rhythms of the machines, a choir of angels singing prayers. Notes clung to the glass heavy with the words of those that cared. One lone card stood on the food tray by the bed, an empty plate, and a chair. Someone has been in here. The chair hovering close to the bed. The covers clean and fresh, unwrinkled as if it had recently been made. Her body was still, steadily breathing, heavily sedated, and unaware that she was not inside.