One Blink for Yes

By on Apr 13, 2010 in Fiction

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Eye blinking with doctors

The doctor raises his head and stares vacantly at the wall across from his desk.  I focus my will so intensely that I condense into a point of light.  My vision grows to 360 degrees around, and I imagine this point of light expanding into a great blob of brightness.  I am concentrating so hard that I don’t immediately notice the doctor, then see the man’s eyes widen with terror.  He yelps and slides back on his chair so hard it bangs into the wall.  He claws at his desk, then scrambles to his feet, knocking a stack of folders to the floor.  Apparently still in my radiating blob form, I watch the man fumble with the door knob before fleeing into the hall, where he glances right and left, then tears off, slipping as he rounds a corner.

Have I done the right thing?  Not knowing and scared, I return to my body to fall into a troubled sleep.

Next morning, Dr. Myron Vespers comes in to check me over.  He has lost weight and looks like hell.  His face has taken on a new expression, one of angry resolve.  Rosa assists him and she, in turn, wears a smug look.  So this is how it is.  I deduct that Myron has decided he won’t take his wife’s shit anymore, and Rosa is aware of this.  She’s thinking, Now at last, I will have what’s mine.

“I don’t like the sound of your chest, Charlie,” Myron says.  “You’re going down to X-ray.”

“He has a temp, too,” says Rosa, her eyes gleaming.
“Can’t let this go into pneumonia,” says Myron.  “Must have caught a bug.”
“I hope it’s not from me,” says Rosa.  She’s not even looking at me, and I feel angry.  I’m not liking this side of her, though it’s not like it’s news that she’d be ready to pounce the moment Myron is free.

After they leave and I wait for X-ray to pick me up, I wonder if what happened during the night has made me sick.  Did that materialization trick somehow weaken my body?

Whatever the case, I do not regret it.  Now I’m concerned with this Myron/Rosa situation.  Why wouldn’t I want these two people I’ve grown to love to be together and find happiness? But something nags me.

I only met Myron’s wife when she attempted to set me up with a psychologist.  Chloe Vespers is a patients’ rights advocate in the main hospital but occasionally drifts our way.  She was on a roll about the needs of paralyzed patients.  I appreciated her efforts, but what good would a shrink do me if I couldn’t talk?  It would take an hour using the alphabet board to even bring up potty training, let alone discuss it.   What I really need is for some billionaire to take me under his wing and buy me a device I can make talk by batting my eyes.  But no such philanthropist has shown his face here.

So Chloe turned up with a good-looking blond man.  Having met numerous medical personnel by now, I could gauge his personality in two seconds.  He was an arrogant prick.  I could see that he’d only come at Chloe’s insistence and had no interest of his own in my case.  I didn’t mind since it would be a pleasure to see him leave.  But he took his time about it.  He seemed to forget that I was there, while occasionally she shot me a worried glance. He was curt with her when she expressed an opinion about another patient that differed from his.  They left without making any decisions about me and never returned.

Chloe is a beautiful woman, the Greek type.  Full lips, black wavy hair, large dark eyes.  Her coloring is what Sue used to call “black, white and red.”  However, I know that Myron loves her for what he saw in her as a kid, and that goes deeper than her exterior.

X-ray arrives and transfers me to a cart, and soon I’m watching ceilings whiz by as we move down hallways.  The orderly chews gum, which I smell and suffer an intense moment of nostalgia.  Juicy Fruit.  In the elevator, he speaks to another orderly with an empty cart.  We’re crowded in there.

“You hear about Matucci?” he says.

“No, what?” says the other orderly.

“Cracked up and is going into rehab.”

“’Bout time,” says the other guy.  “Accident waiting to happen.”

I am shocked at how fast news travels.  Can’t help feeling some satisfaction, though.

We arrive at X-ray, and it hits me that I’ve got to do something for Myron, but what?  To complicate matters, I’m really not feeling well now.  Amazing how a person can be dizzy lying down.

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Margaret Karmazin’s credits include 140 stories published in literary and national magazines, including Rosebud, Chrysalis Reader, North Atlantic Review, Mobius, Confrontation, Pennsylvania Review and Another Realm. Her stories in The MacGuffin, Eureka Literary Magazine, Licking River Review and Words of Wisdom were nominated for Pushcart awards. Her story, "The Manly Thing," was nominated for the 2010 Million Writers Award. She has had stories included in Still Going Strong, Ten Twisted Tales, Pieces of Eight (Autism Acceptance), Zero Gravity, Cover of Darkness and M-Brane Sci-Fi Quarterlies #2 and #4, and a novel, Replacing Fiona, published by