Monday, August 29, 2011

Hearing Voices

           People often ask me, “Larry, where do you get your ideas?” and I addressed that topic in a previous blog. But I recently discovered a brand new resource. Drugs.
Legal, of course, administered at the hospital.
Hospital, you ask? Why yes. 
I don’t know where a gall bladder is, what it does or what it’s supposed to do, but I do know that when one goes bad, you just want the damn thing out. I was scheduled for surgery the morning after I saw the doctor.
Once admitted and once the nurses were done collecting blood and hooking me up to hoses, it was time to sleep—or so I thought, but the bed creaked and groaned, and the IV pump made its annoying racket, and then I moved my arm and set off the alarm for the IV pump. The nurses came back, always cheerful, poked, prodded, fluffed. They made me wear booties that fit around my calves and pumped up and down like a blood pressure cup to keep me from getting blood clots.
Oh, I felt emasculated in those booties. At least my gown wasn’t breezy. I’d fought valiantly to keep my underwear until surgery.
Again alone, which is all I’d been wanting, I began to doze. At one point in my sleepy haze I clearly heard the word “God.” Suddenly wide awake and listening intently, I heard the growling voice speak again. “God.”
Was I nuts? The strange voice came from the IV pump! After throwing up all night and facing surgery the next day, it’s a little alarming when your IV pump wants to talk to you about God. So I listened. And listened. And listened. The pump whirred, clicked and growled in a rhythm, in which the growl sounded like words.
I recalled a Ghost Hunter show in which the ghost used a box to somehow speak through.  The hospital is said to be haunted—this would make a great story, I thought. I listened and plotted and created characters. I tested scenarios from horror to romance, to comedy. There were so many interesting ways to create the story that I was a little surprised to see my doctor pop his head through the door. I’d been so busy with characters and story that I had missed another opportunity to sleep. Oh well, I’d sleep during the operation.
That evening I had company. I’m not complaining—it’s nice they care. But by the time they left and the nurses got done assaulting me and fitted me in those damn booties, it was after 11:00. I slept like a log until 2:30 when I was awakened by another growling voice. This time it was a three word phrase, “Don’t wait under.”
What the hell?
“Don’t wait under,” the IV pump repeated. I was awake and not likely to go back to sleep until I figured out what not to wait under.
It was a different night and a different drug induced haze. This time the pump relayed messages from ET wanting to come back to earth. I had to decipher the code and help him return safely. ET was more talkative than last night’s ghost. He said “Five” “All try” “Forego,” and many more words my now sober mind can’t recall.
Great stories floated through my mind, filled with adventure and suspense. FBI, CIA, men in black all trampled across my bed searching for information only I had. All too soon it was morning and my regular nurse’s visits interrupted my stories and my brain became occupied by other matters.
Now, we all know that to be a writer you have to be at least a little loopy but combine that loopiness with prescription drugs and you have a treasure trove of ideas, plots and characters.
Hmmm. Where to begin…

1 comment:

Angela Parson Myers said...

Laughed out loud, Larry. Was wondering what kept you from the meeting that week. But know just what you mean about drug-induced plots. I think my nightly Benedryl during hay fever season leads to many of the strange dreams I turn into plots.