Fire and Ice


First of all, here are the links to the great blogs participating in this month’s Blog Chain:

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Catherine Hall – http://theelephantinthetemple.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
bmadsen – http://www.bernardmadsen.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
magicmint – http://www.loneswing.com/ (link to this month’s post)
meowzbark – http://erlessard.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
tomspy77 – http://thomaswillamspychalski.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
BBBurke – http://www.awritersprogression.com/ (link to this month’s post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Proach – http://desstories.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
BigWords -http://bigwords88.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)

The topic is simple, yet complicated: Fire and Ice.

I wanted to write about a fire in one of the country’s biggest hospitals. One of the survivors was a 19-year-old technician who had been interned due to a dry-ice burn. He also got burned due to the fire. Ain’t life a bitch? He works as a fireman now.

Then I realized I didn’t want to seem so tragic. After all, tragedy is pretty much what I see everyday and I get sick of it on occasion.

I want to try something different: I want to talk about the physical impossibility of feeling fire and ice at the same time. It was half past two o’clock in the afternoon; we all sat in a crowded auditorium waiting for the head of neurosurgery to begin his presentation on the vast improvements my country has seen in the field of hydrocephalus in infants.

I sat between the prettiest nurse I had ever seen and the director of Medical Equipment in the hospital. Both are equally important in completely different planes.

There was a murmur; from the faint voices I could hear someone complaining of the lack of air conditioning while others spoke last night’s soccer game. Some even indulged in politics and corruption. I eavesdropped them all. It made for some good entertainment while I waited.

Then they all hushed. The doctor entered. We all rose quickly; I felt it. There was a dramatic silence, an aura of respect loomed over him and excitement buzzed around me; I was probably surrounded by many medical students looking up to him. And he went up the stairs, one step at the time, a relaxed breath between steps, and I felt it again. And he turned to us and he smiled.
We all smiled back. He sat down. There was quiet.

And then I felt fire. My insides burned, the temperature rose to immeasurable levels and there was acid boiling inside me. I clenched my fists and closed my eyes. Did the nurse notice? Did the director notice? Did anyone? No, I don’t think so. I closed my eyes again. Slowly the heat began to creep up to walls of my stomach, burning every inch of my gastrointestinal duct with a fizzing effect, as if frying fish. I felt weak.

Then it happened.

Everything turned to cold. Little lumps of freezing embarrassment covered my skin and caused my hairs to rise upwards. The drops of sweat in my forehead froze with the impossible surge of cold wind seeping into the auditorium. I was nervous; I rubbed my arms but stopped halfway. I knew it would not be tragic, it was a normal reaction, but it’d be loud.

And then, it gargled, like sticking a hand through a tuba, it gargled. It murmured, almost laughing at me, and my entrails rumbled like thunder. Fortunately it stopped there. My stomach succeeded in breaking the silence.

She smiled. Someone else smiled. They all heard.

And I had to invent a new Biomed’s rule:

Don’t try the new Indian place at the corner when you have meetings.