15:45

15:40

It occurs to me that I have never seen 15:45.

It’s a bit strange, because time is kinda important to me – almost a deity. It isn’t even as if 15:45 is a particularly unmemorable time, or that I am unable to assign a previous appointment or life event to it. I literally cannot remember ever seeing those digits on my clock.

15:41

There is no reason I shouldn’t see them, either. Mine is a Reacher Large LED Digital alarm clock. Red, squared numbers. Backlit screen. No second counter (I particularly like this feature. It allows me to hone my in-head timekeeping). Why then, have I never seen those digits glaring out at me from the side of my bed?

15:42

Such an observation might seem trivial to you, but what do you know? What do any of you know? You’re probably one of those people who say just get up, as if I can will myself out of bed like anyone else. No. There’s nothing out there for someone like me. Not now.

15:43

I’m focused, though. My long-term memory is shot, but I can concentrate for short periods of time, and sure as dammit I’m concentrating now. I’m shutting out everything else, from the opening door at the foot of my bed to the squeaking wheel on the rubbery floor. I keep my eyes open until they water, and when I blink the red digits are burned onto my retinas.

15:44

That’s not fair. The staff are standing between me and the clock – a sky blue uniform stretched over some bird’s generous stomach is blocking my view. Don’t they know what I’m trying to achieve here? Someone is talking now, but I’m not in the mood to listen. Isn’t it enough that I came off my motorcycle? That I’ve got about as much metal plating in my skull as bone, now? The nurse is still chuntering on; even the hissing of the ventilator can’t mask that. She’s going through her usual late afternoon routine. Telling me that it’s time they turned me over. To avoid bedsores, you see?

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