Christine sat on the edge of her bed her white dressing gown wrapped about her her hair unbrushed she swung her legs back and forth like a child waiting to play games you sat on the bed opposite your borrowed dressing gown dark blue you held tight with your hands as the nurses had taken away your belt and laces in the locked ward when I first had ECT she said they took me in that room back there and laid me on that black couch and said it won’t hurt

it will help she looked at you her eyes focused making sure you were listening she brushed hair out of her face it’s like being a virgin before sex you don’t know what to expect she added her voice quieter she looked around at the ward others were elsewhere or in their beds or taking a shower and that bit when they put the electrodes each side of your head and put that thing to bite on yes you said made me feel like I was in a dentist’s chair back as a kid with the smell of gas

only there isn’t gas no gas she said interrupting that’s right just feels like it she took a deep intake of breath you watched her her fingers held the dressing gown to her neck the ring on her finger she wouldn’t remove even if the guy didn’t show for the wedding she’d keep the ring stuck there like waiting to die you said and then they give you the injection in the hand a little prick and the wave of nothingness sweeps over you and you blank out and it’s all dark and empty she nodded her head her eyes still glued to you

then you wake with a headache like a huge hangover without the booze she said looking away from you her profile adding to her beauty and it didn’t work for me she added as a nurse went by carrying blankets me neither you said just the dreaded numbness and the busted head she got off the bed and walked to the window and you followed standing beside her looking out at the trees and fields covered in snow a tractor across the way with gulls and rooks following behind and she touched your hand with hers the blind

leading the blind.

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