I pull into the parking space in front of my storage locker, turn off the car heater, and shut off the engine. I exit my Corolla and slide open the metal door to my hidden treasure of brains. It's been six months since I was here last and I feel a surge of adrenaline as I anticipate a long awaited recharge of of brain.
I retired six months ago in July from a thirty-five year career in education, and instead of the traveling to far away places and leisurely rest that I expected I ended up taking care of my sister who got Covid and who has been on a ventilator for the last five months.
But now I'm away from the wires and oxygen monitors, and my unconscious sis, because I need a break. I need a recharge. I need to release.
0 I enter my unit and look at all the shelves of kids' brains I've collected. Along with a variety of gift cards, they were given to me from parents who wanted me to use them in my research on neuro activity of compromised brains of their diseased children. They float in glass jars filled with life sustaining chemicals. They are hooked up to generators that keep them working by emitting low electrical pulses. They all have input wires that connect to my port, each brain a carrier of memories and sense impressions that allow me to get into the lives of the children I have taught. My "vacation" alternatives.
I reach for a bottled brain labeled "Chris' Christmas." It's dated Dec. 22 2018. Three years ago.. My sweaty palms gently lift it off the shelf and I hold it close to me. I place it on a lower shelf so I can get out a folding chair. I sit and take a deep breath. I reach for the input wires, turn up the power on the generator. I bend my neck down and plug in the wires into the port at the base of my skull. I close my eyes. I reach behind me and push the "On" button located on my neck. Darkness. A fading feeling as Chris ' memories replace my reality.
. I hear singing. "On you better watch out, you better not cry..." I open my slowly open my eyes. Bright multicolored lights. Blinking. The six foot Douglas Fur is before me in all its glory. Tinsel, Christmas ornaments; santas, angels, Nativity ornaments, red, green, white, blue balls dangle and spin. But there is one that stands out. A face. Smiling. Chris dressed in holiday pajamas on a picture card of a snow scene: a house covered in snow, decorated in lights.
"Merry Christmas, CHRIS. May your heart be Merry and Bright!"
Oh, Chris,...sis..how I miss you.
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