My Journal - Part I

by Caractacus

Copyright© 2018 by Caractacus

Science Fiction Story: the result of an experiment, a boy has woken, and is beginning the discovery of that journey called life

Tags: Science Fiction   DoOver   White Male  

I am writing down all that I can remember, I had not started this journal until several months have passed since I first awoke, and therefore not all memories will be 100%. Once I am caught up, I will be trying my very best to keep my journal current.

Hopefully there may one day be a time that I can remember who I am, and where I came from! For some reason, whatever memory I have, which isn’t eidetic, anyway; so, I am only human, but ... I am not able to go back before the EVENT, I don’t even know or understand what or why the event was, but there is NO memory prior to what I am relating here.

Come to think of it, why am I keeping a personal journal? Well, I don’t have an eidetic memory, oh, I can remember things that happened a week ago, but I don’t remember something from an hour ago ... selective prioritisation, the memory from last week was meaningful, was important.

I am afraid that there will come that day, when I have a noodle-memory, everything just flows through, without even yielding, let alone stopping, like water being poured over noodles, and I am forced to remember on paper anyway.

I was awake. So melodramatic, but it was true; hey, I have to remember (well, that’s so ... different ... I made a pun) that this is MY journal, I can be melodramatic as much as I want! Okay, let’s get serious.

I could remember waking earlier, or was that what had made me not awake, I had been coughing, and spluttering, hacking and spewing up liquid from my lungs. Someone had hit me across the back, perhaps to help me expel the liquid.

I had had a dream, where I was in the water, and I woke, and I realised I was drowning, and ... I think that was when I did wake, and I was drowning, or at least lying on the ground, heaving as my body expelled the excess liquid. The ordeal must have been quite exhausting, or ... I suppose it could have been a body defence mechanism, where my body decided that sleep was the most important or possibly most necessary part of healing, I wasn’t certain of the mechanics.

But now I was awake, I was lying in what I had to presume was a hospital bed, my mind was racing, I suddenly realised ... I knew that I could think, some basic form of cognitive function, I was aware, me ... I was ME! (months later when I have started to transcribe my thoughts, I find it difficult to not be melodramatic, at times) At the time, I knew words, there were words that I knew, some had meaning, some were utterly outside of my present understanding. I had no context, no frame of reference, but ... there is one thing that I am now certain of, is that whoever, I had been, wherever I had come from, I had been an English-speaker, my initial thoughts were all in that language, or at least the first time that someone else spoke to me, I was able to translate immediately!

I could feel something, something strange on my right index finger, and as I shook my hand and rubbed my fingers to remove whatever it was, I realised that it was a pressure switch, a patient-actuated switch; and within seconds, a nurse was at my bedside. There was nothing remarkable about the nurse, she was ... white, Caucasian, had curly brunette hair, and a pleasant face, maybe a few wrinkles, I judged her to be in her late thirties, maybe early forties. I didn’t know, I didn’t understand at the time why or how I was able to judge her age. I postulate that I may have had everything, except my identity, who I was, where I came from; which even now, I have not yet been able to ascertain.

Her long fingers picked up a file, and she took out a pen, she looked at a monitor, that I could now see next to my bed, she hit a key on a keyboard, this paused everything on the monitor, and I thought it looked as though it had cycled ... where were these words coming from? And gone almost blank, like it was taking a photograph, or maybe a screenshot. The nurse started writing down the numbers that I could now recognise.

My pulse seemed to be at about 48, possibly a little low, I thought, even for a person who had just woken, blood pressure looked normal, perhaps a little on the low side, about 110/70, hey ... how was it that I knew that? that that blood pressure was a normal looking number. The nurse was still filling in, as all hell broke loose.

A number of people came rushing into the ward, almost too many, until the one doctor, well, I thought he was a doctor, he had a slight German accent; again, I didn’t know how I knew that; told them all to get out. They all wanted to argue. He said, ‘‘if you have tests to run, or you need to do anything with the patient, they can wait, everything that has to be done will be done over the next several hours, and until the boy is able to get up and around on his own, you are to give him his space.’’

Boy? I didn’t reach down to feel if I had equipment, it had started flexing, when it had recognised the nurse as female.

Except for the nurse, who had a very professional demeanour, and the doctor, everyone else seemed to be very excited that I was alive. The rest of them began filing out of the room.

The doctor held up a flashlight, and told me to close my left eye, he shone a very bright light in my right eye, I had to close my eyelid to protect the eye, when I opened the other eye, he shone the light in that one too. While my eyes recovered, I felt something in my ear, and then in the other ear. He and the nurse raise my torso, until he could listen to my heart? My breathing? My internal functions? Of course, the stethoscope was cold against my back. But I was soon forgetting about the discomfort in my eyes, and so when they lowered me back onto the bed, he held out a pen, about 15 centimetres from my face, he moved it left, and right, towards my forehead, and towards my neck, he raised it in height, until it was at least a metre away from my face. I had to look straight ahead, and tell him when I lost sight of it; the second series of tests involved me actually following the pen with my eyes. He seemed to be happy with the results.

He was an active-looking man, the grey hair indicated an advanced age, I guessed him to be about sixtyish, but his body, or the impression that I gained, beneath his lab-coat was that of a fit and active man. Although he wore glasses, I noticed that the lenses had very little distortion, in other words very little in the way of magnification or actual correction; I wondered if he wore glasses to fit in with a stereotype, or if I was perhaps mistaken, and the correction was there, but very slight, very subtle. (Again, how was I able to judge, and make a distinction? Everything ... every thought ... surprised me. And even more so, because they made so much sense!)

He had on a club tie, but I had a feeling that it was a generic pattern, blue with a diagonal silver pinstripe, rather than a souvenir of any particular alma-mater or membership. Apart from a stainless-steel wristwatch, I thought it might have been a Rolex, but I could have been mistaken; he wore no other jewellery, he also had a pocket-protector with what looked like a stainless steel pen and possibly, also stainless steel, a mechanical pencil, very probably a matching set.

Eventually, he sat down next to the bed, I saw he had a notebook with him, and he clicked his pen, the biro-point was ready to start working, he spoke me, ‘‘well, young man, I am glad to see you alive, my name is Doctor Green, would you care to answer some questions?’’ and without waiting for me to acquiesce, he asked ‘‘do you know your name?’’

Well, that had me stumped, I realised that I probably hadn’t been awake for more than ten minutes yet, but I had not once thought, ‘who am I? where am I? why am I here?’ And as I delved into the deepest recesses of my mind, I found no answers. I must have screwed up my face, so intent was I on finding this elusive name!

‘‘Stop, stop, that is not our highest priority, yet ... the hospital has given you a designation, it is an alphanumeric using a set of letters, in your case, they had just gotten onto a letter that can be your name, Mike, with a second designator, Alpha, and the date, when you were brought into the hospital, 181111. If I asked your age?’’ he must have seen a look on my face, ‘‘okay, don’t worry about that either, you are obviously past puberty, an adolescent, but your size indicates that you may well still be quite young, I am going to put your age in the middle of the mean pubescent age distribution for Caucasian males, that is about twelve, maybe thirteen. Can you remember how it was that you came to be here?’’

‘‘All that I can remember was a feeling of drowning, or maybe I was drowning, but I don’t remember anything before then, is it possible that drowning or more correctly near-drowning can be sufficiently traumatic as to short-circuit the brain?’’ I quipped.

The nurse, Ms Robinson, I never learned any other name for her, paused, and I saw her turning towards us, ‘‘Dr, the young man has an odd vocabulary for someone who is not yet old enough for high school. I mean, I never used such advanced words when I was that young!’’

When the doctor asked me, and I replied, ‘‘I have no idea, I have words ... there are concepts ... when I woke, I thought of myself as aware, this being one of the preconditions of sentience or is it of sapience? I realised that I had cognitive function, and then as my mind raced around, I realised that I had words with no meaning, and words with no context, and words that might fit something, but I had no idea of why or how any of this occurred to me. I am assuming that what the nurse is meaning, is that the average typical pre-teen does not use some of the words or even the contextual concepts that translate to become diction and grammar; at least, not on a regular basis?’’

‘‘Very seldom, it is possible that one of your parents was an English teacher, or extremely pedantic about language and usage. Some of my colleagues, those that I have just kicked out of here, one or two of them may have ideas, ideas that may well bear following up on,’’ he replied, he looked at me, ‘‘I am going to have them come in one at a time, if you would please cooperate, and we can get preliminary tests out of the way, and then we can set about learning who you are, and how you come to be here.’’

He stood up and approached the closed door, as he reached for the handle, I noticed that the nurse was stacking a tray in close proximity to myself, and the first thing that I noticed was a number of needles, I had to avert my eyes, and try to think of something else. Of course, the question that begged, WHY? Why was I afraid of needles? was it a MEMORY from prior? but there was absolutely nothing that was standing up and shouting ‘pick me!’

There must have been a dozen, well, at least a half-dozen residents and interns in various disciplines that wanted blood, or urine, or sputum, I got conveyed to MRI, X-Rays (I didn’t think I had any broken bones, but... ), hearing lab, ophthalmologist, etc ... I’m not certain what time I had woken, but by the time I had seen the fifth or sixth doctor in a row, I was ready for sleep again.

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