five minute fiction- Brain Case

September 5, 2009

I was dreaming. I was positive I was. She was curled up into a ball next to me. Her blonde hair fell over her face, and she was running her hand up my chest. “I miss you.” She said. “I miss you too.” I replied. She straddled me, and I grabbed her hips. “Won’t be long.” I said.

I woke up.

The nurse had come into the room. My sense of hearing and sight were connected to a small camera / microphone at the front of the case my brain sat in. I’d been here for a year now, a brain in a case, floating in liquid. My body had been horribly horribly burned in a plane crash, beyond anything the doctors could do for me. They did the only thing they could do: Remove my brain and let my body die. My brain was suspended in liquid with life support attached to it.

The nurse was looking at his pad. It apparently provided him with data fed to him from my life support systems. The tap tap tap from him poking at the pad was probably what woke me up. I was always sensitive to that kind of noise, I could never sleep if water was dripping. Even if it was across the house, I had to get up and fix it, or put a cloth under it to stop the noise.

He sat down in the chair next to me after he’d taken a look at the case my brain was in. I used the camera to follow his every move. I was glad they didn’t have to change my fluid today; this was just a routine stop for the nurse as he went from room to room.

Brain cases were situated in small, narrow rooms. They were longer than they were wide, giving them the look of a wide hallway. Most brain cases were given virtual environments to connect to, to minimize the trauma of being disconnected from their bodies. Doctors would “connect” with the patients when talking to them…again, to minimize the trauma of their situations.

After looking over a few things on his pad, the nurse said “Dreaming?” “Yes.” I replied. He never even looked up as he spoke. He was looking at a real time scan of my brain. It seems so strange to say that. But I just can’t bring myself to say that he was looking at a scan of me. My body was long gone. My brain WAS me. I just can’t say it.

I watched him do his nurse thing. We made small talk. “Any good news? ” I asked. “Do I have a brain tumor?” “Hahahah, no, Mr. Lawson.”

I don’t think that nurse ever realized just how much I hated him for being able to move around, to see with his own eyes. I hated that he could go somewhere and eat, or pick up a hooker after work, take her somewhere, and fuck her. I hated him for all the things that I couldn’t have, and couldn’t do. I hated him for having a body.

I wanted to go back to sleep. I wanted to dream of Holly again. She left me a little while before the plane crash. She called me at the hospital, after I’d been stabilized in the case. She wanted to come visit. I told her no. I said, “Look after the kids.” She’d started crying. We had gotten divorced for stupid reasons. Fighting over money, that kind of shit. Basically taking our stress out on each other. We never meant it. We just didn’t know how to deal with it.

“Seriously.” I said to the nurse. “Kill me.” “Can’t do that,” he said. “I was kidding.” I said,”Seriously, I was kidding.” Awkward silence followed. He got up from the chair a few minutes later and turned to leave.

“You gotta hang in there Mr. Lawson. Won’t be long before the airliner comes through on the medical bills, and then you’ll be able to get a new body.” He walked towards the door of the room, gripping his pad, and walked out.

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