Across the 8th Dimension

Buckaroo BanzaiDoes anyone remember The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?  Quirky Sci-Fi movie from 1984.  Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Clancy Brown, lots of other great actors.  Half of my vocabulary comes from this movie (Laugh it up, Monkey Boy).

There’s a scene where Buckaroo opens the boundaries between dimensions and drives his car through a mountain.  He proves that many realities exist in the same physical space.  Just find the right side-step and you’re face to face with weirdness.  I understand Buckaroo’s disorientation a little better now.

Tuesday, my mom went to the hospital for an angiogram.  Her docs thought she might have some heart problems and wanted to get a good picture of her blood vessels.  One minute my sister and I were joking with her about our double chins as we waited to start the procedure.  The next minute the doctor was telling us he had no idea why she was near death.

Hospital waiting rooms must qualify as another dimension.  Time functions differently—speeding up when the doctor shows up, slowing down between the five-minute visits inside the ICU.  Several new languages must be learned—Doctor-Speak, Endless Speculation, and the abbreviated answer to “how is she?”.

The senses work differently in this dimension, too.  The colors in the jigsaw puzzle I’m working seem alive, blasting with color.  But the smells in the cafeteria hardly register.  Light ranges from stark fluorescents in the halls to ambient murkiness in Mom’s room. Sounds are muffled—the shush of crepe soles, laughter far away, the gentle few bars of Brahms’ Lullaby over the intercom whenever a baby is born.  It’s all very odd.

Even when I leave the hospital, I’m still caught in its vortex.  I talk to my friends, feed my cats, eat supper, but all done on the wrong side of the dimensional barrier.  I’m wrapped in a space suit of Hospital Waiting Room and can’t quite touch my own reality.  Which seems right.  Moving through dimensions must have repercussions.  I’ll just stay here for the duration and acclimatize.  I’m afraid I’ll be back soon enough.

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