“MA’AM, CAN YOU HEAR ME?” an EMT shouts.
No, I'm deaf, you idiot.
“We’re just going to put you on the stretcher. You're very sick!”
What? I’m not sick. I’ve never been sick a day in my life. You must be talking about my daughter. She’s been real sick. Too bad the words that actually come out of my mouth are, “Fuck off! Sick, my ass.”
Black octopus-like arms “help” me onto the stretcher. I try to get off. Gigantically tall man in black, with shiny tin medal on his shirt, and a big black butt-ugly revolver hanging off his belt, bends wayyy over and stares down at me like I'm some kind of criminal. “Ma’am, what’s wrong with you? These men are only trying to help you. If you don’t cooperate, they’ll have to strap you down.”
Strap me down? You can’t do that. I’ve got kids to put on the bus in the morning. I’ve got to go grocery shopping. I’ve got to teach piano in the afternoon. I’ll have you know I’m a very well-respected piano teacher. Too bad the words that actually come out of mouth are, “Get the hell outta my face, tin cop!”
Geez Louise, that wasn’t very smart. I’m immediately strapped down and put in the ambulance. Mr. EMT, aka Smurfman, hops in, shuts the door, hooks an IV into me, and calls the hospital. Afterward, he sits and stares at me. Ah ha! He thinks I’m a fruitcake. I stare back at him with great cunning. I know how to play this game. I’ve seen enough movies on it. I just have to act normal.
I open my mouth to reason with the man, but the words refuse to leave my mouth in the content my thoughts have specified. Not only that, my voice, it has regressed some thirty-five years! “Hello, Mister,” I say with a nervous giggle. “Where’re you takin’ me?”
Smurfman’s eyes bug out. But he blinks the bugs away. “We’re going to the hospital, ma'am.”
“Oh.” I wrinkle my brow. What the hell's wrong with me? I want my adult voice back! I blurt out, “A-are they going to hurt me, Mister?”
His voice softens. “No, they’ll take good care of you there.”
“B-but I don’ like hospitals,” I reply, desperately trying to regain control. My voice has other ideas. “I wanna go home right now!”
He shakes his head. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you need to be in the hospital.”
I close my eyes for a few minutes. Then, without any kind of warning, Mount St. Liz erupts. “Where am I, and who the fuck are you?” But I quickly put a lid on it before Smurfman erupts. “I’m very sorry, that’s not what I meant to say.” I close my eyes, again, and peer into eternal darkness.
Ok, so who’s playing with the light switch in my head? Well, stop it, stop it, stop it!