You are here. A pink dot on a map in a glass atrium where bronze deer wander. People you don’t know sit along the walls as you shake your umbrella, wetting the floor. You are early. There are no white stirrers in the cafeteria, the dispenser’s empty and a woman in green sputters fresh orange bin liners into waste bins while an old man gesticulates at high-up squares.
It’s 10.30. Your appointment is 10.40 in G3, but floaters swarm your field of vision, blurring the signs, and you are lost until you spot an etched finger on the wall pointing towards a swing-through double door.
On the other side, behind a reception desk, a chair revolves (empty) on its stand. A line of people wait in silence at the desk. You join the back of the queue. A voice from a speaker mounted on the wall says, “Do not think you have missed your turn. Different procedures are happening at the same time.”
A nurse with a clipboard calls your name. You follow. She leaves you alone in a small room. A moment of silence followed by interference. A speck of light arcs through a crack in the door. You hear a fingernail drawn across a curtain. A fly bats at the window. You hear a blet of traffic passing, a rub of tyres in the rain.
You are here. Your eyes track a blue dot on a white wall. No scream of neon before light flicks dark. No pain. Just the sound of a fly zapping the window again and again.