…. Opening my eyes, I see …nothing. A total, solid darkness engulfs me. Why can't I see? I saw alright yesterday, so why can't I see today? I feel the starched sheets cool beneath my hands, smell the caustic disinfectant used to clean, hear whispers and footsteps. I sense movement beside me, the gentle swish of moving fabric, like a curtain being drawn. Then a gentle voice wafted into my ear "Sweetheart, it's alright, you're safe now. Can you remember what happened?" Mmm, what happened? Good question. I remember … noise, and heat, pain, panic, electronic shreiking, and a thunderous roar, then … nothing.
A cool and gentle touch on my hand, cautiously, as though afraid of hurting me. I try to turn my head toward the owner of the hand and voice, but a vicious, fiery pain flashes up over the side of my neck and head, making me gasp and flinch. "Don't try to move my love, you still have some nasty injuries, and may hurt yourself more. You're lucky as it is, if you'd been just six more inches further over, you'd have been killed outright. The building you were in caught fire, remember? The roof started to collapse. The main roof truss caught you a glancing blow to the side of your head, knocking you out. You've a concussion, a broken arm, cracked ribs, fractured …."
The voice carried on, but I tuned it out. What building? My home (where's that?), My work place? (What's my job?), a café, garage, shop or somewhere else that I visit? Still dopy, I cleared my throat, and muttered "Whycantisee?" The other voice tailed off, silenced, and a new voice spoke. "Hmm-mmmh. Can't see, you say. I'd best take a look at your eyes then." A finger and thumb hold first my right eye open, then my left, and muttering emanates from the person before me. I don't know what they're doing, it hurts, my eyes are stinging badly, as if there's something in there, but I still can't see anything, the entire world is completely black to me at the moment, and it's scary as hell.
My hand is retaken in a gentle grip, as the first voice asks the second what's wrong. There's a pregnant silence, before the second person speaks. "There seems to have been some bleeding into both retina's. Surgery might be possible, but we need to consult the opthalmologists first, to see what they recommend. I hear footsteps receding, and I'm alone with the first person again. "Now, don't fret, even if the worst comes to the worst, and you have lost your sight, don't be scared. You can learn braille, we can get you braille books and computer, you still have all your skills. You're still you, and I'll still love you." Easy to say when it's not YOUR way of life on the line. Giving up on the day, I close my eyes and drift off to sleep.
All of a sudden, I was in a large, cool, shadowy room, with lots of people's silhouettes, and whispers, all around me, the voices just too quiet for me hear. Suddenly, there's sharp pains running up the backs of my shoulder blades, and I'm shirtless, then there's a feeling of weights hanging from my shoulders backs. The whispers stop, to be replaced with one very loud, very succinct "FUCK" . I don't know what just happened to me, but it can't be good to have gotten that reaction. I hear footsteps coming closer, then a quiet voice I don't know murmurs platitudes, and I hear them moving round behind me, before I feel a soft touch on my back.
Except it's NOT on my back, it's too far from my spine for that, so that means …. Woah, Hold on, just a minute WHAT THE FUCK ARE THE WEIGHTS ON MY BACK ANYWAY?