Before laying down, I’m fitted with a football helmet styled mask over my face, its soft support sponges anchoring my head in one position.
“Have a kid-friendly nap in their… there’s nothing else to do,” the tech says as I’m rolled on a conveyor belt into the cylindrical coffin. I’m relaxing, loosely holding the panic device she’s handed me. I close my eyes in compliance, willing myself to rest.
Then, I’m berated by sound. My body shakes from vibrations. The ear plugs are ill-equipped to block the barrage of sounds. A base beat with no melody, a woodpecker, a drill, a gong, an electric hammer on tin, chimes. I am Harrison Bergeron. My thoughts fight to keep hold in my dound-cluttered mind.
Then, silence. I roll slowly out. “You’re doing great. A little shot, then just a few more minutes,” she says smiling. “Make a fist. Hold it. Here’s a little pinch.”
And I return to the coffin to study the all white plastic ceiling save the black spec of something that shouldn’t exist, but is there.