Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I climbed onto the table and stretched out, turning my gaze for a moment as I lay down, glancing lightly and quietly at the huge plastic and metal circular mouth of the MRI machine. My head came to rest upon a small pillow. The radiologist placed a frame over my head and locked it into place. I smiled up at her. "Woman in the iron mask," I nervously joked, staring up at the small mirror attached to the frame. My nose stared back, attached to a smile, attached to my eyes, my crinkled worry-worn forehead, attached to my face. The mirror was tilted strangely. It was supposed to reflect the radiologist's booth outside of the MRI room. It's purpose was to make the patient feel like they were not trapped inside a large magnetic machine, that the patient was still connected to the outside world. I kept staring at the reflection of my nose and thinking, "That is my nose. I like my nose. It's kind of pretty." As I thought these thoughts and kept quite still, the radiologist rolled me back into the machine, and then her voice came over the loudspeaker. "This should take about two hours. We'll take a break towards the end to do the injection. The first scan will be five and a half minutes." I closed my eyes. My breath became a slow rhythmic timer, my only companion. Charged little clicks and whirs resounded, then the pulsating, unending, staccato-ed "BUUURRRR" of the machine.

Give me this new lovely season. Give me cold air and cars rushing by. The leaves will start to turn. We'll sit on our porch in the crisp autumn evenings, smoking cigarettes and singing, squinting and smiling at the people walking past.

"i cross the line
and see a face that can’t be mine
through a long long night
to find a place where we all thrive
where every frail thing can survive
where we can live this dream of life..."

from handkerchiefs by the Winterpills

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