Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The sound museum

I laid back on the sterile sheet, head in place. They enclose my head, and I feel like I should be fighting some intergalactic war with this contraption. Instead, I am pushed back into the mouth of a sound monster, trying not to think about the lack of space between my shoulders and the walls. When they called to set up the appointment they asked if I was over 300 pounds. As I'm trying not to think about the smallness of this space I am wondering how exactly 300 pounds (hell, even 250 pounds) would fit.

The beeps distract me from my thoughts.

Ka-blop. Ka-blop. Ka-blop.

I'm transported to the Amazon, sitting in a tree with incredible sound magnification. Each rain drop makes its own distinct Ka-blop.

A voice comes over a speaker, reminding me that I am in a metal shaft.

"One short one and then one long."

Immediately I am taken away from this place, taken away from the botched IV for contrast.

I am in a prop plane, right over the engine, looking down onto mountains, oceans. The whirring sound drowns out the beauty below.

And then silence.

A bouncy ball starts, as though it's been dropped from the 50th floor of a New York skyscraper headed down Broadway Ave. It continues, heading from Times Square, all the way to the Statue of Liberty, dozens of blocks, bouncing. As it nears the water, it slows, quietly petering out.

"That's it," the voice says.

Thirty-five minutes in the sound museum.

Several hours later, a phone call. "Normal."

One test down.

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