Feels like I’ve been here a very long time. Why have I just accepted this state of affairs? I don’t know these people – I’ve been sitting with them for time untold, we’ve even spoken a bit, but I have no recollection of what we said. We smile and nod when we see each other but everything moves away as I try to grasp it. A girl in a grey outfit brings me a drink on a small tray. It’s perfect – the best coffee I ever tasted and yet oddly spiced. Am I being drugged?
I can move. I bring my arms out and sit up. I appear to be in some sort of steamer chair, snugly wrapped in a quilt. She smiles at me encouragingly and suddenly I have this feeling of having lost something terribly important. I've lost everything. There’s no one I know here and I know it’s not possible ever to see the people I do know ever again. I'm a snowflake in a whirling sky.
‘Are you feeling a bit more awake today?’ she says in a voice so gentle it hurts.
‘Where am I?’ is all I can say – she can’t hear me I’m speaking so quietly. I try to collect my thoughts better. ‘I don’t know anyone’ I say, choked up. ‘These people...’ I point vaguely at the other chairs ‘...are not mine.’
She looks down at me – a mother’s pity in her eyes, and yet I don’t know her. Why should she care? It doesn’t feel real. And yet I can’t help needing her to stay with me. She turns, I think, to get assistance and I try to implore her not to leave me but my voice is lost in the wind. (Why is it so cold? It’s arctic here.) I turn and look at what seems to be the sea, although all I can see is a frozen, misty grey haze. A fine frozen wet is stinging my face. My body is warm and relaxed. There’s nothing to see.
I think about my body and it feels very small and weak, while my head feels huge and wobbly – I can barely lift it, just roll it from side to side. I look at the other people on either side of me, similarly arranged in rugs on deck chairs and I feel this strange glee rise from my solar plexus to my head and I giggle a little to myself.
‘This must be what it’s like to be a baby’ I think. ‘Maybe I’m a baby now.’