On the day after the election, I managed to get through the day without hearing a sound from Donald Trump. Granted, I spent nearly an hour and a half insulated by a tube of sonic barrage and headphones.
Some might think that an extreme form of avoidance, but I had to be there anyway; and truth be told, as trying as it got after the first hour, those 90 minutes of MRI bazooka drills still seemed preferable to the prospect of listening to Donald Trump for four years.
The images from the scan are mysteriously beautiful and evocative, part Rorschach blot, part x-ray, and as beckoning as those adult mandala coloring books in fashion now. I wanted to blow up, print and fill them them with sumptuous color and whimsy. It strikes me that could be a powerful healing tool, a sort of chromatic massage on one’s own neglected middle realms.
Although I have viewed these glimpses inside, I confess I can’t interpret them expertly; from what I could see, it’s quite possible I might have something more compelling to concern myself with about them soon enough, but, meanwhile…
I amused myself with the observation that, although these were images of the other end of me, some of the images seemed redolent of that constipated pout I’ve seen upon the face of the Donald.
* * *
The technician apologized to me about 15 minutes into my procedure, when he realized that the protocol for my particular scan would be an especially long one. My feet had been taped together and positioned– perhaps for optimal viewing, but definitely not for optimal comfort– upon a bolster. My hands were placed high on my heart– as if to impersonate a dead pope or pharaoh– where they tried to fall asleep, but eventually woke up again—who wouldn’t? And as the magic barrage of vibration settled sacrum and soft tissues into the hard table, the sciatic nerve began to mewl like lone tomcat contributing to general mayhem of a blitzkrieg.
I really didn’t mind it so much…
…although as we wore on toward the hour mark, I became increasingly grateful for all my yogic tools for breathing and meditation. Admonished to be very still, and aware of how the breath moves every part of the body, I meditatively focused breath into the middle and upper quadrants of the torso and encouraged a fluid, relaxed transparency in the tissues and other faculties that might subtly contract against the strafing stimulation.
I’ve long known myself to be made of sound, and I keenly felt my kinship with it. So, I did not feel so much under attack as under visitation, by alien, yet purposeful, sound-intelligences, there to help. There was no duplicity or ambiguity of meaning in the sounds, no emotional or mental content but my own. It is those distorted realms that so accost and confuse me as I move about among human sounds. So, here, amid the din, I was peaceful, mostly, and “safe.”
At times I felt like Gulliver swarmed by dozens of vocal, curious, invisible androids (…or performance artists, like Blue Man Group with voices). My body just went neutral and settled back for the show, as if it were a Pink Floyd planetarium spectacle (without the visuals).
There was the allegro movement of the concerto for six DA-DAs: DaDaDaDaDaDaDaDa complexly woven in call and response rounds…
…and there was the percussive robotic spit-off: Poit Poit Poit Poit Poit, Poit….
…and then those periodic slow arpeggios of melodious machine gun fire….
…then the pleasantly stimulating trio of revving diesel engines, which, after a while, made my muscles twitch.
There were so many more wondrous sounds I tried to remember but simply didn’t have the diphthongs to notate in my English mind’s alphabet.
Occasionally all the voices would go silent—
…Except for that one machine in the suite—a rotating electro-magnet, I imagined—which kept perfect time (and other secrets) like a metronome:
A-CHOO A-CHOO A-CHOO A-CHOO A-CHOO
… sneezing when I entered the room, and still sneezing when I exited… with my fillings still rattling in my teeth.