I am frightened. I’ve never done anything like this before but right now, I need the money. The bed is hard beneath me, not comfortable at all and the restraints feel alien and tight. A man is standing over me, ugly and big. He smiles in what I guess is meant to be a reassuring way and reaches over to grasp my arm.
“This might hurt a little.” His voice is surprisingly soft and he sounds professional. I guess he has done this hundreds of times; he certainly seems confident as he tugs my sleeve up and quickly finds a vein. I look away as the needle slides home. No turning back now. I am officially a lab rat.
They have told me that there might be a moment before the morphine kicks in. The really disorientating stuff won’t begin for around 20 minutes though. The nurse puts the needle to one side and checks the monitors on my head and chest. Finally he takes a swab from the inside of my mouth before smiling at me again, explaining that he will be just outside the room. I don’t have to worry, if there are any problems at all they will come and get me; I will be fine. Then he just leaves the room and I’m left alone, lying on a bed tilted so that my feet are above my head, waiting for the drug to kick in so that they can mess with my head. I don’t even drink that much! But I need the money.
My head is swimming and I feel sick. I try to close my eyes, but the lights start to change and flicker through my closed eyelids. My feet are still higher than my head although I feel like I am moving now. Is that part of the process? Was the bed motorised? I try to remember if I saw anything like that on the way in but I can’t concentrate. My mind keeps going off on tangents that come from nowhere, go to nowhere and leave me spinning and confused in their wake. I stifle a groan, but I don’t think it would have been noticed anyway. Is that whale music they are playing or just really bad jazz? I have no idea of anything anymore and I want to cry. A smell wafts at me, but there is nothing to see, nowhere it could have come from and the bed is moving again as the lights change from blue to red. I don’t think I can take this at all.