073: What the Comatose Patient Saw

The comatose patient knew he was in a coma.  When he opened his eyes, he saw sky, clouds drifting across, he saw what might in the future become a painting or a photograph or a film.

He heard his wife say “Rocks.”  He heard his son say “It would be painful to fall from such a high place and hit the water, you know.”

To the comatose patient the son’s voice sounded like the blur behind a rushing bird.  His wife’s voice sound like things being born slowly and repeatedly and in the dark no less.

But his son wasn’t in the sky.  He sensed his wife and son somewhere behind the clouds, above them, behind all that blueness.  But how did the comatose patient have eyes and why did he feel as if his pockets were full of rocks?

It was like travel but without physical movement.  He saw the clouds in the sky.  He heard water, the gentle buffeting of one form against another.  His eyes moved from the clouds to a distant shoreline where people must live.  He couldn’t feel his back.

It wasn’t traveling for the comatose patient. He hadn’t moved. These images, he thought, must be the result of the earth turning under him.  He hadn’t moved.  Rather, it was the earth turning beneath him. He, the water, the stones in his pocket were moving with it. He wondered where they were going and when the turning would stop.

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