Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Force

It's Star Wars Day... and I thought to give it a go with a Star Wars theme. 


I don’t know what happened to me, but I do believe it was the car accident which caused it. The accident wasn’t my fault – as the dashcam footage given to the police showed it was some fuckwit who ran a red light high on some drug who totalled my car and nearly splattered my body and brains all over the intersection. But when I woke in a body cast with the doctors saying it was ‘a miracle’, I really wanted to die.

Months passed by and I slowly healed. 

My bones painfully mended together and physio started up with me learning to walk again, teaching my legs, feet and muscles to talk to each other again. I had to reteach my hands and fingers how to write again – and found my handwriting changed because some of the tendons in my forearm had been damaged so badly they couldn’t repair them.

But something else happened to me – something I hadn’t counted on. Something I thought was my imagination, until I reached for the wheelchair just out of my reach and it suddenly rolled towards me pushing against the brakes on the hard rubber tyres.

The nurse didn’t see it, but I did.

And like I said, I thought it was my imagination.

I didn’t say anything at the time, not to anyone because I didn’t know what to make of it.

So, I waited until I was alone and asked the nurse to just leave my magazines on the table so I could make myself reach for them – make myself stretch for them – as they were supposed to do for me.
“You really do want to get out of here.” She smiled placing the remote near the end of the bed and my art magazines on the table at the end, leaving me alone for the afternoon where the ward went quiet.

I wanted to watch television.

I had slept for over three months and didn’t want to sleep anymore.

I wanted out of this place to see if I really could do something more interesting than wobble around on my feet or get stuck in a chair for the rest of my life.
Reaching out my right hand to the remote, I ordered it to my hand. But it didn’t move. I wanted to watch television, so I thought of the words ‘remote control, come.’ And it slid quickly along the bed into my fingers, where I fumbled with it and turned on the television on the wall. I found the afternoon movie and found it was ‘Starman’ and smiled at the irony of it.

I had to live with my folks for a little while – which is fair enough. They had built me a small granny-flat like place with a yard, a large bathroom, a studio out the back and all the room I’d ever want.

But I was stuck in the chair for now – how fortunate it wasn’t an electric one.

“He’s quieter than he used to be.” Mum said as I looked around my new art studio, wondering if I’d ever get back into painting or drawing again.
“Relax, he’s probably still feeling as though he’s institutionalised.” Dad’s voice whispered, but I still heard him, “Hey.” I turned and he was at the door of the studio, “Do you want a cuppa?”
“Yeah, a coffee.” I nodded following him out to the kitchen where everything was at my height.

The first few weeks I felt as though they were watching my every move because every time I turned around, they always seemed to be right there asking if I was okay.

It was frustrating.

One night, I was awoken by muscle spasms and had to struggle with the painkillers in the bathroom as I rubbed my legs and arms, crying into my arms on the vanity, “Dammit! Dammit! Damn it all to fucking hell!” I screamed.
I looked up as everything on the counter dropped onto it.
Thankfully, all my things (aftershave, shaving lotion and soap dispensers) were in plastic containers otherwise they would have shattered.
By coincidence, the spasms disappeared after I lost my temper.

It made me wonder exactly what happened to me.

I kept going to physio and talked to my doctors about how my progress was going. They did brain scans to keep an eye on me as well. But on the third scan something happened to the MRI machine – it shorted out on us and they pulled me out immediately.
“Man, do you have any metal plates in your head?” the technician asked.
“No.” I said looking at the machine from the door in the paper gown and booties, before I realised I had jumped off the bed and walked there.
“Hey. You walked there!” he smiled.
“Do you think I blew up that machine?”
They looked at me and one shook his head, “No. It’s something of short in it. Don’t blame yourself.”

I sat at home in the studio wondering what to draw and ended up drawing a scene outside on the veranda, just to get the fresh air. It was nice to sit there with my apron on with my art gear out there and an easel getting my hands dirty with my mobile just out of reach.
The phone rang about an hour into my session.
I turned and put my hand out to it, and my phone flew to my hand, I opened it quickly and I found I didn’t have to touch the screen to answer it, “Hello?” it was automatically on speaker.
“Doctor is that you?”
“Yes. We must talk. You’ve been observed by people doing things, and an institute is interested in our... discoveries about you since your accident.” He had hesitated slightly.
“Why are you afraid?”
“I’m not.”
“Tell me what you’re afraid of about me?”
“I’m not the droid you’re looking for.” He voice droned through my phone, knowing I was probing him for answers, “But I’d like you to come in and see me about this.”

The hospital wasn’t a place I liked to go to – seeing I’d spent a lot of time there – but the doctor wanted to see me. However, it wasn’t actually me he wanted to talk to; I got stuck out in the waiting room while he spoke to my parents. What they didn’t know was I could hear them very clearly behind the closed door.
“Now, take a seat and be careful what you say. Luke can hear us, even with the door closed.” The doctor said.
Mum whispered, “What?”
“Whispering doesn’t do anything, he can still hear you.”
Dad sighed, “Something else is wrong with him, isn’t there?”
“Yes... but in a good way.” The doctor’s voice reassured them, “He’s picked up something since the accident. Something in his brain has been woken up... something we have called The Force – because it’s very sci-fi Star Wars-like. And believe me when I say: The Force is strong in this one.”