Time didn't matter any more. Blind and bedridden, Allen slept when he could and tried to ignore the blipping of machines when he couldn't. The blindness was still new and it astounded him. It was so powerful. It took so much and gave so much. He could hear conversations from fifty feet away. He could smell the rib joint at the end of the block. He had never imagined before that there was so much to see just inside his own head.
Nurses fluttered in and out. He could not see them of course, but it made him picture a soft summer afternoon, drifting in and out of a nap, watching the thin curtains billow and then retract. This is how he saw the nurses. Occasionally, he imagined them as old time nurses with white uniforms and the little hats. He would never have been able to connect the soft, caring hands with green scrubs and neck tattoos. The blindness was a blessing.
Pain. A lot of time to think about pain. Everyone experiences pain, but not everyone gets to experience real pain. The accident had left Allen broken. His pelvis, shattered. Legs snapped. Spine a jumbled mess of jigsaw laziness. His pain was a vibrant, living thing. It made his breath catch. Sometimes, a muscle would spasm and his brain would erupt into a bright, ungodly red. Throbbing. He would grind his teeth and swallow it. Sometimes, the pain would turn him off. Blackness. Sometimes, the nurses would.
He liked the pain, though. That's what they didn't understand. They were always pushing morphine on him. And pills. The morphine was unavoidable. He always said no, sometimes they listened. The pills were easily disposed of. He liked to wake into the pain...to think, why God? Why me? And then to remember. To have the remembering wash over him like acid.
The doctors came by. They liked to look at him. Amaze each other with the details. A man that should, by all rights, be dead. And he would focus on the pain. He would dive into the bloody madness of it. And sometimes, the pain almost made it OK. His mistake. Their lives.