This blog is registered under the same username, but I can’t seem to keep this one from showing up as primary. Sorry.
I was still in the hospital room, same as yesterday. I felt a deep sense of disappointment that the hospital room hadn’t been all a part of the dream. This was real. I was lost, I was hurt, and I still had no idea why.
There were people in the room, now. Strangers. The sound must have come from one of them. I tried to see who they were, but they were all fuzzy, distant, too far from me to see clearly, as they stood clustered together near the door. The doctor, who I hadn’t noticed, spoke, startling me. My heart was still pounding from the sudden awakening. I didn’t need more surprises like that.
“I’ve brought these people in to talk to you. Maybe they’ll trigger some memories. We really need to figure this puzzle out if we’re going to get you healed. Are you willing to talk to them?”
“Sure,” I answered. “But who are they?”
“I’ll let you try to figure that out, young lady. I think it may help your brain get going if it has to work a little bit harder. Exercise is just as necessary for the brain as for the muscles, you know.” He paused, waiting for my response. I had none. The doctor’s tone softened. “Okay, I’ll give you a head start. Your first visitor’s name is Barry. Do you know anyone named Barry?”
I looked at Barry. He was very tall, with a shaved head and smooth face. I thought hard, but nothing about him seemed familiar. Barry softly cleared his throat, and then spoke.
“Do you know how old you are?”
I looked at him, looking back at me with his large, dark eyes. That was an odd question, I thought, until I realized that no, I had no idea how old I was. I looked down at my hands. Tan, fairly smooth, but with some lines. The hands were not young, nor were they the hands of an old woman. I looked at my arms, my chest, whatever else I could see of myself. No clues there. I didn’t think I was a teenager, but I couldn’t tell what my exact age might be. I probably needed a mirror to even guess close.
“No,” I answered. “I don’t.” Barry didn’t offer an answer either. I guess he didn’t know me that well, or else he was in cahoots with this doctor who wanted to frustrate me by making my head hurt with thinking. I chose to believe it was the former, especially after Barry’s second question: “Are you an American?”
“American.” I knew what that was. The word triggered images in my head of a red striped flag, parades, fireworks, hot dogs and laughing children waving sparklers. All these memories were clear to me. They felt like something I’d seen many times. “Yes, yes,” I exclaimed. “I believe I am an American!” The feeling of familiarity felt wonderful. I wanted more.
Barry stepped aside, and allowed the next person to question me. A man with a long brown ponytail stepped forward. He was wearing a button-down shirt, opened to expose a white t-shirt, and baggy blue jeans. He seemed familiar, in the odd sort of way that a photograph of yourself as a baby feels familiar, but I couldn’t conjure up any concrete memories of us together. Only those vague feelings of familiarity.
“I’m dying to ask you questions, but I don’t want to overwhelm you,” he said. “Oh, I’m Steve, by the way. You know me, but not in the usual way…” He paused. Again, I didn’t respond. “That’s supposed to be a puzzle, you know, to get your brain going. Like the doctor said.” He waited. “Oh, nevermind…” He trailed off. “I guess you’re in no condition to be responding to complicated concepts like that.”
“No, please, ask me hard questions. If you can get me to remember … I want to know. I want to know why I’m here.”
The doctor looked at Steve and shook his head. I frowned. Who was this doctor, I wondered? First he wanted me to think hard, now he was saying the opposite. I didn’t understand. Steve picked up on my frustration. “The doc wants to challenge your brain, but he doesn’t want you to get too stressed out this early in your treatment. He told us to keep our questions simple, at least for the first few days. If you get too stressed, it may work against you.”
Whatever. I didn’t see how I could get any worse, considering I knew virtually nothing to begin with. But I was getting a little bit tired, so I didn’t argue. Steve continued.
“Have they told you why you’re in the hospital?”
“No. Well, I guess I hurt my back and I broke my leg, that’s why I’m here, but they don’t know how I did it. They said they found me crawling on the beach yesterday morning. They don’t know how I got there or how long I’d been there. A dog found me, the owner was walking it and he called 911 when he saw me. That’s all they told me. So far.” I looked at the doctor, and wondered if there was more that he wasn’t telling me.
Steve broke into my thoughts. “Do you have any personal items with you?”
Personal items? What? I knew as much as he did, he was standing right there, couldn’t he see for himself? But Steve seemed sincere. Maybe this was all part of the “trigger my memory” thing. I looked around the room, finally settling my eyes on the bedside table. There were items there, but I couldn’t see them well, they were fuzzy. Apparently I needed glasses.
“Well, there’s this … long thing … with a round bulby thing at the end. And I see a colorful square. And something flat. And, what’s that, maybe a glass of water? With a straw in it? I think that’s water.” I looked past the table to a large shape near the window. I thought it was maybe a chair, but I couldn’t tell what was on it. There was something there, though.
“The flat thing is a book,” the third person, a woman, excitedly broke in. “Do you remember if you met the author? Did you read it for class, perhaps an assigned text? Or would you have read it for pleasure?”
I looked at this woman. Her hair was blonde. She had a happy, cheerful face. Her energy was very high, I could tell. Oddly, she was wearing large sunglass frames with deep blue lenses, which contrasted pleasingly with her bright purple shirt. I didn’t recognize her at all.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Kris. I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself first. My, what a fabulous ring that is! Such a unique design!” I looked at my hand but saw nothing. Then I remembered how I had seen a chain on my skin when I had evaluated myself trying to figure out how old I was. I touched my neck, found the chain, and followed it with my fingers. Sure enough, there was a large ring attached. I brought it to my eyes to study it, but was interrupted with more questions. “Is that your real hair color or have you been experimenting? Personally, I think the blues are lovely when accented with purple. Although for a woman of your age it is rather, um, unusual.”
A woman my age? Yikes, I must be old. And my hair is blue? The curiosity became too much, and I asked for a mirror. Within seconds, the doctor provided one.
I looked at my hair first. Light brown with streaks of blonde. What was this woman talking about, blues and purples? I turned my eyes to her curiously, and then it occurred to me. The sunglasses! Well, okay, that explained that. I turned back to the mirror and examined my face. The reflection revealed green eyes, a prominent nose, thin lips, tan skin, pierced ears. I looked like I had seen at least my thirtieth birthday, though I couldn’t tell if I was as old as forty yet or not. I guessed I would have to wait for more information to be revealed.
“I’m sorry, about the book and the ring, I shouldn’t have asked that just yet. The doctor says that’s too much for right now.” The doctor was by the woman’s side and was ushering her out the door. “We’ve got to go, I guess. But we’ll see you again! I want to know about that ring!” The three people disappeared and the doctor closed the door behind them.
“I’m sorry about that,” he said. “They should have left you to rest. I’ll try to keep them from bothering you with such complicated questions next time.”
There was something about the doctor’s tone of voice that told me there was more, much more than he was telling me. Something didn’t make sense about him, about his whole manner. But I realized I was exhausted and couldn’t think anymore, so I laid my head back down on the pillow and tried to let my mind drift back and reclaim my lost dream. Yellow. Yellow and blue. There’s something significant about yellow and blue. And those were my last thoughts before I fell deeply asleep.
Hello … I need your help. I seem to have a terrible case of amnesia; I can’t remember who I am or why I’m here, and I definitely don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. As my guest, I would very much like you to leave me a comment, and in it, ask me questions about myself. You have much control over helping me figure myself out just by the way in which you ask your questions. I will answer your questions in each blog post, and together we will write my story.
Thank you!! Let the journey of discovery begin …