October 18, 2009
October 13, 2009
The lights in my room were low, making it difficult to see a great deal with my cam. There wasn’t really anything to see. There wasn’t even a television, or a web connection. They didn’t want me getting upset about looking at real people…I’d stopped thinking of myself as a real person months and months ago…I could barely stand the idea of being disembodied. I didn’t need it rubbed in my face, they figured, by having a tv on.
I think they were wrong about the webs though. I could have connected virtually with people, and that would have made me feel a little better…but the inevitable “i really want to meet you” scenario would have come up. What would I have said, that I had to go on a trip to Jamaica to help refugees evacuate from rising sea levels? Christ.
But, the lights were low, and I found it was actually painful…well, not painful exactly. I didn’t feel the usual pain associated with low lighting…I didn’t have eyes. So, the actual pain created from eyes trying to adjust wasn’t there. In fact, there were a lot of things I didn’t suffer. It really helped sharpen my mind, in that respect, because I didn’t feel the physical aspect of being sleepy, or crying. I didn’t feel any of those things. That was what took the most getting used to…other than not having a body…it was the things that you associated having a body with that was the strangest part of it. It’s almost impossible to explain. That’s why most brain cases got simulated environments, so they didn’t have to really deal with that kind of shit. But, I can try to explain what it was like in reverse…Imagine that you are nothing but eyes and ears, and you can only look in one general direction. Now, remember that when you want to cry, you’ll feel nothing. No heaving, no sobbing sounds, no tears…Nobody can hold you and comfort you. Your pulse won’t quicken, your eyes won’t become sore…and nobody would be able to tell you’re crying because your voice box comes directly from your brain, and there’s no flesh to make your voice crack. Imagine what it would be like to exist purely as a mind with no body. When you see someone attractive, you don’t feel the blood rush to your sex. You feel a vague…something…but there’s no blood rush to anywhere, so you feel…nothing but a recognition that they’re attractive. Imagine that.
After I said “seriously, kill me” to the nurse, I was expecting a visit from a psychiatrist or something. They had them on staff at the hospital. They practically lived for talking to brain cases, besides. Don’t ask me why.
I could tell the nurse had been really annoyed by my asking him to kill me. I couldn’t blame him, really. I mean, who asks a nurse something like that? But I couldn’t help it. I HAD been going insane. You show me anyone other than a goddamned Buddhist monk, maybe, and I’ll show you someone who’d lose their shit if they were just a goddamned brain in a jar. It had been, christ, a year at that point, that I was in there. I think maybe longer.
So, when the shrink came in to see me, I wasn’t really surprised. She came in and sat down in the chair by me. I registered that she was attractive, of course. Slim body, slight cleavage, hair back in a bun and glasses. The parts of my brain that were expecting to register an erection spun their wheels uselessly as I looked at her.
“How’re you feeling?” she asked. I didn’t respond at first. Finally I said “that’s about the stupidest question anyone’s asked me, under the circumstances.” She looked dead at the camera for a few moments. Then she said, ” I know you’re going crazy in there. It’s a horrible thing that’s happened to you. I’m not going to mince words, but I’m not going to humor your self-pitying my life is over crap. See, when I ask how you’re feeling, I expect an actual answer. As in, I expect you to tell me just how bad your crazies are.” That kind of shocked me. Not that she’d said it to me, but that she’d said it at all.
“I’m losing my mind. I know it. I have murder fantasies about killing people out of revenge for their having bodies. I asked the nurse to kill me the other day. I told him I was kidding.”
“Were you kidding?”
“I don’t know.” I said. “Maybe it was a little of both.” She nodded. “You’re new here.” I said.
“So,” I said, “are you new to brain cases, or you been talking to them for awhile?” She leaned back in the chair, stretching out her legs a little, and kind of relaxing. She said, “I’ve been doing it for about ten years. I just got to St. Gerome’s a few days ago.” She took a sip of coffee and said, “I’m here to talk about you. Your case is extreme in that you’ve been in a case longer than anyone else. Most people are put into a body about three months at the most after being put in a case. The effect it’s having on you…I can’t believe you’re even talking at this point.”
I thought about it. Thought about why I was still thinking, talking, able to interact. “I’m holding on because I want to beat the living crap out of those corporate fuckers that have me stuck in here. I can’t even get net access. They won’t pay for it. I want to watch them hurt.” I said.
She nodded and said “My name’s Doctor Stevens.” She took a sip of her drink and then said, “That’s a good motivation for staying in the real world.”
“Yes.” I said. “It is.”