come to under a violet light; the hour uncertain. A thousand strange things are whirring and humming. Red and yellow sparks flicker on and off, transparent greenish vines hang down from above. The space is crawling with life, human beings and other, non-human things. There is great calm, but also a note of urgency. I
My reason is slow, numb. By my watch it is 4 o’clock, presumably morning. Where am I? What’s all this energy, this pulsing and thrumming? The American in me foggily deduces that this is Grand Central Station, where all the ways of the world meet. A busy hub in some great city inhabited by men and women of many tribes, everyone very alert and courteous.
Well, you could call it that. I’ve somehow landed in the intensive care unit of a major London hospital. The previous day, I was rushed into emergency care, laid low by a sudden infection that had set off something like the Battle of Stalingrad. It was sepsis, caused by a spirited bacillus of the Streptococcus pneumoniae clan—one that, luckily for me, was also quite responsive to antibiotics.