Nuclear Core

There is nothing here too look at, nothing at all.

 It’s all-white tiled room, and cold. It’s cold in here and I am wearing a thin vomit-green hospital gown. One gown is tied backwards around my shoulders like a robe. It covers that three-inch space that my cold purplish back is exposed. Even though I have lost weight—they make these gowns for imaginary bodies, not the kind of body that would actually wear them. I should have worn socks, but its summer outside and I forgot to bring them.

There is nothing to really look at in this room—When I remember back I try to tell myself that there was a big round window filled with Philodendron—that their  long green fingers draping over the windows ledge. When I remember I think I could even smell the green.  But that is a conflation of the truth. The only large round “window” in that room was a giant satellite drum that I stand in front of for six hours with my arms stretched out wide on either side of me, like a crucifix. There were no vibrant greens. No reminders of life. Everything was too clean to be alive.

In the center of the white room the satellite transmits images of my intestines to another satellite that orbits the earth, which then translates these tiny pin-pricks of light onto a picture someone will (ostensibly) understand. I watch the monitor at the technicians desk as tiny green dots fill her screen; the contents of my radioactive breakfast. I stand in front of the drum in intervals of fifteen minutes and wonder what the radio-active particles actually look like. I had expected the eggs and toast to have lime green star-dust particles salting the top of my eggs—like something out of a science fiction movie, but they were ordinary; colorless, tasteless. There is nothing to show for the poison I take into my body.

The pain has dulled me; made me dumb—voiceless.

 

*This is an excerpt from a longer piece.

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