You can learn a lot when people think you aren’t listening…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had insomnia. I’ve always been a night owl and a morning person, surviving on five, maybe six, hours of sleep cobbled together in restless bouts. In hindsight, I realize all my life I sort of resented having to sleep. I suppose I was afraid on some subconscious level I’d miss something important or exciting or unrepeatable. Which makes my current predicament all the more ironic.
I am in a deep vegetative state…better known as a coma.
Other people refer to my situation as “sad,” “heartbreaking”...even “tragic.” I find all the attention rather strange considering before I landed in Bed 3 in the long-term care ward of Brady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, I was the girl no one paid much attention to. I was the middle child—middling pretty, middling smart, a middling achiever with a middling personality in a middling job at a middling company. My name is Marigold Kemp, but these days I’m more commonly referred to as Coma Girl. Apparently, I have a bit of a following. I’ve trended on social media. I have my own hashtag.
Since it appears I’m going to be here for a while, I thought I might as well start telling my story; there have been a few twists and turns as to how I got here, and doubtless more to come. The list of pluses of being in a coma is pretty darn short, but if I had to name the best thing, it’s that you can learn a lot when people think you aren’t listening. I am the ultimate eavesdropper, and friend, if I ever wake up, I’m going to write a tell-all.
Meanwhile, I’ll tell you.
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August 30, Tuesday
I’VE DECIDED WHEN I wake up, I’m going to learn to play the cello.
I can read music now, from hours of listening to the classical tunes playing on Dr. Jarvis’s iPod, and translating it from sound to notes. And I visualize my fingers on the strings of the cello, turning the notes back into sound. In my mind I picture a symphony, with my hospital bed sitting to the rear of the cellos, between bassoons and trumpets.
I’m bored today, but I take it as a good sign, that my brain is looking for something new to do.
In other words, I take it as a sign the drug Dr. Jarvis administered is working.
Something is definitely different. Whereas before my mind was chugging along evenly, now it seems to ebb and flow, but the extremes are more… more. I’m napping more, but when I’m not sleeping, I seem to be firing on more cylinders.
And the range of my emotions seems to be ever-widening… and sometimes ever-changing. Sometimes I think Keith Young should be punished for his wanton carelessness… other times I wonder if I did swerve into his lane. With Sidney chatting on her phone and Roberta laughing in my ear…
Wait, was that a flash of memory, or simply a manufactured scenario?
I tried to zero in on the image, but it slipped away.
Hopefully, though, it will come back tomorrow.
I didn’t have any visitors today, and it makes me long for even the melancholy of Audrey’s company. And while Joanna’s visit still plagues me, I recognize the encounter as yet a different stimulation that I need to process.
And the realization itself is progress.
I’m getting better, I can feel it. ~