Ruling out a Brain Tumor
by Daryl Scroggins


After the MRI of my head and before anything is known, I am released. "Do you think I could see one of the images?" I ask. For an instant the technician hesitates. "Sure," she says. She opens the door of the control room behind her. Just inside she presses a key on a keyboard and a black and white image appears on a display. Gray convolutions in cross section, with jaw and tongue. We look at the image for a while. I tell her that it almost makes me dizzy to think that I am seeing the image of my brain by way of the very brain pictured in the image. "You're feeling dizzy?" she asks. "No, no—just joking," I tell her.

And I am away, moving quickly down the halls; why do I feel like an escapee?

It's dark outside, and landscape lighting in the well-trimmed trees makes for odd contrasts. The night is sharpened, with leaves all distinct and still as if they are doing the observing. I reach my car, find the right key--and I'm in! The familiar wheel. The dash with a crack in it, the blank stare of the instrument panel.

Then I realize that my car does not believe I am there. Perhaps it never has, but it always seemed to, before. Now the interior appears to me as it must appear when I am gone: not waiting, just there. Not nervous, or bleakly stoic, just part of the slow change in temperature as the seats and upholstery give up the collected heat of the sun to the night's coolness.

I start the engine and switch on the radio. Out on the road, going fast, I roll down a window. The noise reaches the decibel levels that scared me inside the MRI machine. But I'm fine. Just fine. I can't hear it but I'm whistling.


Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.

Don't want to miss out? Contact us and we'll send you an e-mail message announcing each new issue. (Be sure to see our Privacy Policy.)

Copyright © 1999-2005 by Amarillo Bay. All rights reserved.
Individual works are copyrighted by their authors.