I wake up in a rush, the world coming at me with sudden force. I was not there and then suddenly I am. Sort of like being born I think. Everything is hazy...I drag out a memory of someone taking away my glasses. I wish I had them now. I am in recovery and I look this way and that to see the outlines of so many beds, so many people on them, nurses running this way and that. "How are you doing Norman?" she asks the man next to me. I want to speak, "Hey...I'm awake, talk to me." She hurries away to get something for Norman. The curtains are half way drawn between our beds so I can only see his bottom half draped in a blanket. My voice doesn't emerge...or does it just seem like too much effort? My throat hurts as if it was scratched...which it was from the tube thrust down during surgery, to help me breathe.
Bed after bed, patient after groaning, moaning patient. And then there's me. I feel invisible. Look at me, I want to shout but my throat closes around the words trapping them. After hours it seems, one of the nurses comes over to me. "How are you? Need anything for the pain?" I exist. And for the few moments that I whisper back a response I feel human. I can be seen. "I've got your glasses here she says." I smile as she slips them on me. I look around now and see distinct shapes, actual people. But it also brings to focus that we are still all part of a production line. There are other being brought in as the pain meds kick in and I fall asleep again.