Swine flu. Except, being Jonathon Macavoy, resident screw-up and general causer of problems, I got some weird variant that nobody’s ever seen before. That’s right. Here’s Johnny, test results coming soon to a hospital near you.
It had come on quick. I’d been at work, hammering away at my keyboard in the standard mindless drone fashion, when my fingers had started going numb. I mean, more than the standard numbness from working in an office for barely over minimum wage. I remember, very clearly, lifting my hands to my face and getting confused as to why they were blurry. I’d started to call to Ed in the next cubicle, but my mouth was also refusing to work. I managed something along the lines of “Flub” as I stood up. Well, more failed at standing up seeing as my knees buckled within seconds of being subject to gravity again.
I vaguely remember someone asking if I was ok. Dumb question, but it definitely got asked. Then the next thing I know I’m waking up in a quarantine ward at St Mary’s with tubes out of everything and everywhere.
I mean it when I say everywhere. It wasn’t pretty.
“Mr Macavoy! Good to see that you’re awake.” A tinny voice came through a set of speakers hanging above the plastic… Do I call it a curtain or a wall at this point? Either way, there’s two speakers, some freaky deaky doctor man talking like a robot and me with tubes coming out of everything I hold dear. “How are you feeling? Patient has awoken from coma on the 12th February…” That last part was quieter, him saying something to an assistant nearby.
“I’ve had better days.” I began to pull the oxygen tube out of my nose. It was the twelfth already? I’d gone to work in January and I woke up on the twelfth of February?
“I would not be doing that. You have been sleeping for quite some time and will probably need some time to adjust.” I yawned as he spoke, with no idea of the time or what the hell is going on. Distinct lack of windows in a plastic box. “It would appear that you need more sleep. I shall talk to you soon, Mr Macavoy.”
And talk he did. Every day, for the next month. Told me I was confined to the box, being given my meals through a tiny slot, some kind of airlock. Every day, same thing. Chicken, broccoli and mash potato. I mean, it’s great for a gym bunny but I’m far better at running across Azeroth or through Rapture than the real world.
I asked the doctor, one time, why I couldn’t see anybody. He told me that there was a shortage of HAZMAT suits. “Indeed. Some kind of problem at the factory is what I am told.”
“Great. Any news from my family?”
“I have been informed that they are out of the country. Morocco, to be exact.”
“They choose now to go on holiday?” I leaned back against the four white pillows. I’ll tell you this, white sheets in a room with white walls and white pillows and white flowers in the corner and white and white and it gets so repetitive. I’d been around every inch of that room and nothing. The door must have been behind the wall somewhere but nope. No access to it for me. Twenty seven petals over four flowers though, that was about the only interesting thing I had.
I slept. I woke up. I chatted with the doc. I slept again. You get the picture.
“You know what I miss, doc? Apples. I mean, Barbossa had it right in Pirates of the Caribbean. Apples are the way forward.” I imagined my teeth breaking through the skin of a rich green apple, the juice running down my throat and washing away the taste of broccoli. That and fresh air. The air in this place had been through so many purifiers and filters it was cloying and sickly.
“You will be out soon. I am assured of it.”
More sleeping. More waking. Endless cycles. Honestly, it felt like years I’d been in this box.
“Hang on a second, Doc.”
“Yes, Mr Macavoy?”
“Who’s informing you of this stuff?”
I feel like this is an abrupt ending to this piece, but I’m still deciding where I’d take this next. Hopefully, I’ll revisit this or investigate it some more in a later piece, but for now, who knows? I’ve got 442 more days of this stuff!
The Idiot in Tin Foil