Fictional Nonfiction

Apparently, I had many hallucinations while in the hospital. I plan to discuss them on the next Strange Indeed Podcast with co-host Dave, who was on hand for much of my stay. I’ll try to join him via Skype from the rehab center, which should be strange in and of itself.

Most of the strange incidents and people I imagined while coming off the anesthetic (ketamine) I quickly realized were not real. For instance, I knew that the colorful parade of people in traditional Chinese dress were merely visions even as I enjoyed watching them pass through my room. Others were so realistic I did not know they were illusions until much later. Like last night.

One series of events I would have sworn actually took place involved a violent, chronically alcoholic lawyer and a long-suffering social worker. The man was admitted on three separate nights, and I could hear their long, pointless conversations. The alkie would lead the social worker on, giving her hope that he would enter a program. But he would always find an objection at the last minute. I knew I would write a story based on the conversations; I even outlined it in my head. And even though I would take liberties with the narrative, most of the conversation would remain intact.

Which is why it came as such a surprise when my friend Bob told me the alkie attorney had never existed. As my medical power of attorney, he was privy to the details of my condition. He checked with the ICU nurse and confirmed that no such man was in ICU when I was there.

Being cut loose from this piece of reality is a little unsettling, to say the least. But then experts from quantum physicists to the Apostle Peter indicate that “physical” reality is something that is only experienced at our level of existence. It’s downright weird.

The good news is my story, which I thought was based on a real conversation, is entirely my own creation. I had better write it up before I forget it.

REHAB UPDATE: I’ve been in here a week, and it may be another until I get my land legs back. Being on your back for 17 days really does a number on your muscles.

Posted in Humor, Life, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments