“Get up,” Blondie banged his baton on the side of the old man’s bed.
A shot of adrenaline surged him upright. His restraints were gone. The needle in his arm that had been delivering his sleep medication had been removed. It looked like it had been removed some time ago. The old man flexed his fingers. Something’s different. When he first awoke, he was weak, like his body didn’t know itself. But, now the lethargy was gone. There was vitality in his muscles again.
“We need to get you fed before you die from starvation.” Blondie couldn’t seem to care less. Another one of the men in white wheeled in a chair.
The old man stood up. Yes, something’s very different. The old man’s legs knew themselves once more. It’s as if he hadn’t been in a coma at all. He looked at Blondie. “Where are we going?” he wanted to ask, but his words were only mumbling gibberish. Alarmed that the words coming out of his mouth were disjointed with his thoughts, the old man put his hands to his mouth and he grew concerned.
“Shut the fuck up and let’s go!” Blondie had the other man in white wheel the chair closer to the old man.
The old man stopped speaking—he had the wisdom to know that by now something was wrong with his speech. He could understand Blondie well enough and his own thoughts were in the same language that Blondie spoke, but for whatever reason the words coming out of his mouth weren’t right.
He looked down at the wheeled chair. I don’t need that, he thought. So he walked by the chair, looked at Blondie, and walked to the door. “Alright, if you wanna walk, let’s go.”
The old man followed Blondie down the hall. The other man in white took the wheeled chair out of the room and wheeled off in another direction. Walking down the hall, the old man felt refreshed and strong—quite strong. He was taller than Blondie and solid. He noticed that Blondie walked almost like a slow gallop while twirling his baton. The old man walked upright, with his shoulders naturally pulled back, and his broad chest thrust forward. Blondie looked soft in his back and his arms. That’s why he needs a baton.
The old man’s room wasn’t unique. Down a long corridor, through door after door, he could see other people seated or lying in isolation. Most of them were simply old. Others appeared to be in someway sick or lame. A few seemed to be completely paralyzed.
His sense of rejuvenation and sense of self then gave way—seeds of sorrow grew in his heart, for he knew without knowing anything more that the lives of those around him had been sad ones.