I am Alone, and I am a Statistic

The doctor points to a picture of my brain, highlighted by a long fluorescent beam. “Three White Dots,” the doctor says.

His hair is shiny, sleeked back from wire-rimmed glasses. His eyes are wide and somber. He is short, but I am smaller still, a piece of dust floating in space, grit upon the ground.

He looks at me, but I cannot see. I am focused on Three White Dots. Little dots that dance and tease. That mock the brain that cannot think. That cannot read. That cannot write.

“You have a brain injury,” the doctor says.

My husband holds my hand, doctors and nurses wander by, patients sit in the hall. But I am alone. Just me and Three White Dots.

I show no physical signs of injury, other than shaking hands, eyes that refuse to meet others, legs that wobble beneath my body. There is no gash, no bump, no bruise upon my body. Only Three White Dots lit upon a screen.

These dots mean I am no longer normal. I am someone whose brain has been whipped inside the skull, till words and objects, people and places, became interchanged. Till some are forgotten, fallen from an obscure slit in my head.

I am not an athlete who others will mourn, no one famous who people will grieve. I am one more person whose mind has been wounded, a brief note scribbled by a hurried doctor, a chicken scratch on a board, a statistic in the medical community.

Doctors will prod and probe, try to discover the mystery inside the head. They will ask me questions I cannot answer. They will pull up images of Three White Dots.

I wonder about tests that lay before me, and feel my hands and feet begin to sweat. I grasp my toes inside my multi-colored sandals, forcing them to stay on. I want to ask my husband when I bought these, but he is busy watching the doctor whose lips are in constant motion, listening to the monotone voice that repeats, “Three White Dots” and “Brain injury.” I don’t understand the garbled words, the disturbed glances that pass my way. I look at my legs, dangling beneath me like two browned limbs hanging from a dead branch.

My mind is a mess, its edges singed and charred. I want to put the flame out, extinguish the Three White Dots, go back to the day when screeching sounds moved closer, to moments before, to change the course of time, to change the course of my life.

But I cannot. I am alone, and I am a statistic.

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