Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dialysistic Transmogrification

The needles infiltrated my arm with glee, first the Arterial followed happily by the Ventricle.

Their mocking smiles looked up at me with pride from my grafted arm, but their giggles were quickly muted by paper tape and gauze.

I began to flip around the channels on the germ infested TV when an unfamiliar figure stepped up to my chair.

He was older, probably in the his late 50's, with pale flaky skin and a hairline that was at low tide.

"Hello," he smiled as he began to fiddle with my Dialysis tubing.

I used what little energy I had remaining to tilt my head from my right to his left.

"I don't know you," is all I could manage to utter.

"I'm Nurse Daggard and I'll be administering your meds this evening."

As "evening" escaped his chapped lips, a wicked smile erupted on his face. I could feel a twinge of uneasiness in my belly.

He reached slowly into his lab coat pocket and pulled out what appeared to be a purple syringe.

Before I could ask what he was injecting into my bloodstream, the burning began.

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!"

My back arched and lifted my skinny, pimply ass off the chair. Slowly, but with determination, every red blood cell in my body began to boil. My head darted around seeking someone familiar, someone who might stop the pain.

But it was to no avail.

Every tech, each and every patient was oblivious to my condition.

The blood vessels in my frail little frame felt as though they were melting.

Nurse Daggard just stood there, that same wicked smile on his face as he pressed the final amount of fluid from his royal syringe.

"I'm dying," was all my mind could concentrate on. "It's finally here, the final countdown to my eventual demise."

Thank God.

Suddenly, I felt my body press itself deeper into the chair. I couldn't move my neck and my eyes darted around the room seeking answers.

It turns out, I really was melting.

My pale skin began to darken and spill off to the sides of the chair as my epideral layer sank into my internal organs.

And then I felt a tightening. The gooey mass that was once my body began to realign itself. I now had the strength to pull myself back into the chair.

Unfortunately, I couldn't hold my shape.

Nurse Daggard was wide eyed with anticipation.

Obviously he knew what was going to happen next.

As I managed to gel what remained of my body back into a concrete form, he began to push a few buttons on the Dialysis machine touch screen.

He turned toward the screen one last time, and then toward what remained of me.

"Goodbye, and happy landing."

Somehow I managed to keep my vision as I cooled to a small, blob like Mass. The outer skin of my Mass was now bubble gum colored, with small pieces of what I could only imagine were my internal bones and organs, scattered throughout the outer layer.

As my breathing slowed and my mind began to take inventory of what just occured, Nurse Daggard pressed one final button on the machine.

A huge jolt of pain began at my eyes and made its way throughout my entire Mass.

"OOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!"

My bulbous Mass shot straight into the air and arched across the room. As I became airborne, I noticed that there were fewer patients in the clinic then there had been before.

As my momentum began to slide and gravity took effect, I found myself directly aiming for the garbage chute. I was about to slam into the metal door when it conveniently opened and I made my way in. My Mass seemed too much for the entry at first, but then my current weight helped slide me through.

I slid easily and quickly through the chute. Left, left, right and then left again until I was floored by the cold, anemic tile of the basement.

My vision blacked out momentarily, but slowly images started to appear. It was cool and damp and I could here whispering.

As I finally became aware of my surroundings, I could see others just like me. Other Masses, not quite as lively in color as myself, but nonetheless, just like me.

Some Masses were charcoal black with little specks of green. Their voices were older and they spoke softly and evenly. Others looked to be blood colored, with small patches of themselves falling helplessly to the floor.

A slightly larger mass that was ripe with the smell of cigarettes and cheap booze nudged me to my right.

"You know, they've been planning this for a while. Damn straight."

When his Mass left mine it left a little residue on my bubble gum skin. I glanced at it as my skin absorbed it into my Mass.

For a moment, I was dizzy and felt somewhat queasy. And I could see a flash of memory.

The frightening part is, it wasn't mine.

And then I knew who had just invaded my personal space. It was the extremely tall gentleman who always smelled like the back alley of a mini mart. He was also a patient at the clinic.

Then it hit me. I was surrounded by former patients of my Dialysis clinic.

Before I could ask what was happenning, and why we were all here, a shell of a door opened at the back.

To no one's surprise, it was Nurse Daggard. He held some sort or remote control device in his hand filled with buttons, knobs and switches.

And I doubt any of them were labeled "fun."

"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for coming." He nearly laughed as he finished the sentence. A number of the Masses booed and hissed while one tossed obscenties freely and with extra vigor.

The strange thing was, he did the same thing as a patient.

"You are about to participate in a fascinating experiment of my choosing. If successful, you could be the first participants in the evolution of mankind itself."

One of the more aged masses began to whimper. Another claimed he wouldn't stand for this. Others were even more hysterical.

As I'm usually prone to do, I just waited patiently to see how this scenario was going to play out.

And then the trouble started.

Nurse Daggard flipped one of the switches on his remote control while simultaneously turning one of the knobs.

A low hum could be heard enveloping the room. Every Mass in the room began to glow.

Daggard tapped a number of buttons feverishly as I felt a warm current flood my body. Without prompting, my personal Mass began to roll to meet all the others. Every Mass in the room began to melt into the other.

I was flooded with memories that were not mine as a dull roar of pain filled my mind.

Places I'd never been, people I'd never spoken to. They were all flashing before me like channels on my TV.

And I was helpless to stop it.

Each Mass began to find it's place melded to the others. And then a feeling caught me off guard.

It was difficult to describe.

Remember when you finally found your clique in grade school, or you were finally accepted on a sports team and were truly part of a group?

That's how it felt. Acceptance, full and proper acceptance.

My mind raced to find it's place among the others. I could feel the dominant personalities trying to take control at first, but they were tempered by the more balanced in the group.

Throughout the skin of our Mass, a rainbow of colors filtered throughout, never remaining one particular hue.

It was beautiful.

And Daggard was thrilled. He was jumping up and down, his large man boobs dancing to the rhythm.

"I've done it! I've finally done it!" was all he could seem to express.

I had numerous questions for him, but apparently so did everyone else. Without speaking, our thoughts threaded together to create one viable question.

It was simple one.

"Why?"

It was not verbalized, but transmitted from our consciousness into the mind of Daggard.

I flashed back to all those movies where the aliens transmit their thoughts to the lowly humans and they drop to their knees in excruciating pain.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen here.

Daggard mused upon our question for only a moment.

"Why not?"

Murderous thoughts began to beckon. Forgiveness was suggested.

These internal debates were fascinating because they only took a moment to resolve.

"Don't you understand? I now have the power to take the most amazingly talented minds in the world and combine them into one cohesive creation. And all it took was the sacrifice of a few worthless Dialysis schlubs to accomplish."

His words were debilitating. Our minds joined together in the common humiliation and struggle we all felt on a daily basis.

But then anger began to swell. We all had something, someone we truly cared for. That we suffered through Dialysis for.

That we wanted to be with again.

And Daggard had ended that.

It was an action that philosopher's could study for the ages. The continual battle between emotion and reason.

For Daggard, reason was not on his side.

We didn't merely destroy him, we enveloped him. Reason dictated that if we added him to our collective, we might be able to return to our former ailing selves.

At first, the answer seemed simple. But before our mind could grasp what Daggard had accomplished, the corrupted part of his soul began to dissolve the answers.

Then they were gone.

The back door of the basement opened again as one of the Tech's dropped off a box of supplies. He caught our image and stood there, frozen with the shock of what he was witnessing. He frantically found the doorknob and made his way back into the stairwell.

A domino of thoughts began to fall, from one mind to the next, but they were all the same.

"We have no future."

Just as quickly as I had become accustomed to all the new facets of my mind, they began to lose hope.

One by one, they simply ceased to be.

Some couldn't live without their families. Others without their cat.

A few just didn't really give a crap anymore.

I took a moment to flash back to the happiest memories of my life. They all involved people I would miss and experiences I had cherished.

I kept myself conscious for as long as possible, but thankfully, mercifully, the experiment was finally over.