Author: Shannon O’Connor
I broke my arm, and I’m devastated. I can’t use a computer and do my work, and it gets in the way of my life. I’m a resident in Cardiology at a big hospital, and I think this might hurt my career.
There’s no reason we should depend on computers so much. Now, with voice-activated devices like Alexa and Siri, we shouldn’t have to suffer and not be able to use technology if we’re injured. I can’t do anything, and I am going batty.
I think of science fiction shows, like Star Trek. Yes, they have to touch the computer to navigate the ship, but in order to do anything else, the person just says, “Computer,” and it happens. The captain hardly has to touch anything. Why can’t I live in that world?
I have a painting of planets that I inherited from my great uncle, and I stare at it sometimes, and it soothes me. The painting has an indigo sky, and the planets are purple and green, and pink. I want to live in the world of the painting, where I don’t have to touch a computer.
I close my eyes. I open them, and I am on a ship like in Star Trek. My arm is in a sling.
“Doctor, why don’t you take yourself to sickbay, and fix your arm,” the captain says. He is different from Captain Picard; he has dark hair and blue eyes.
“But how did I get here?” I ask.
“Never mind that, carry on,” he says, sitting in his chair.
I look at the other people on the bridge. A woman sits in the chair next to the captain, and a green alien with bulging eyes sits behind them. I go through the doors to try to get to sickbay.
I see a man in the elevator wearing a gray helmet and matching suit.
“Where are we?” I ask him.
“We’re in the Delta Quadrant,” he says. “It’s very exciting.”
“I’m the doctor here, right?” I ask.
“Hey doc, are you okay?” he says.
“I broke my arm, but I don’t know how it happened.”
“We’re always running into anomalies around here. It’s typical. But you can take care of it.”
“I think it’s great what we’re doing.”
“What are we doing?”
“We’re exploring the galaxy, finding new worlds, doing things nobody has done before!”
“But isn’t that what we always do?”
The elevator stops.
“This is sickbay.”
“Thank you. I’ll get off here.”
I go to sickbay and find the right device to fix my arm. I wave it around and wiggle my fingers. Medicine in the future!
I sit down on the chair in the office and look at my hand.
“Is there anything you need?” a man asks me.
“No, I have everything.”
He leaves, and I close my eyes at my desk. I can feel the ship moving through space at warp speed. I don’t want to leave.
The moving stops. I smell a familiar smell, grilled chicken and asparagus, dinner, cooked by my boyfriend.
I open my eyes. I’m not in space anymore. I move my arm. It’s not broken.
How am I going to explain this? I can’t say anything, or they’ll think I’m crazy. Maybe nobody will notice.
I look at the painting of the planets. I flex my arm.
I was in space. Now my arm is better. And I’m not telling anyone how it happened.