He awoke disoriented with a headache, and pain at the pressure points of his hip and shoulder. His head wound seeped above his gray left temple. He sensed that he was moving in slow motion as his fingers felt the stitches while he looked down at the red stains where his head had rested. In the bare, gray cell his thoughts came.
He remembered a nice room once. It had been like a hotel room, furnished and comfortable. He couldn’t place how many days ago that was. Was it weeks? He felt he had been gone a long time. Now he felt exhausted and he rubbed his shoulder. The wrinkled rose-colored scrub top felt rough. He walked to the door, which had no door handle or knob on it. He looked through the peephole. The view was a blur of light.
He hadn’t dreamed while asleep and he had no idea how long he’d been out. It’d been a dreamless unconsciousness. He thought whatever was being done to him was working, and he thought he had it figured out. The sensory deprivation was working. The lights were on all the time, no clock, no windows, and no external references.
He pounded on the door and yelled.
“Who are you people?” There was no answer. He felt thirsty.
“You have to give me some water,” he yelled. He knew he could live a month on his body’s protein and fat storage, but he needed water.
There was no answer and the dread and anxiety grew within him. How long does it take to break someone? Experts agreed that everyone would break eventually. “Have to keep oriented,” he mumbled. I have to remember the good life and how all this started. He thought of his jogging at home. When was that? Last month? Last year? Two years, yes. It was a good place, back then. He had friends. He had patients. My god, what may have happened to my patients? He turned to the bunk. He was tired. No. He would pace a while and jog in the cell. As he jogged in the cell the seepage from his temple ran down into the stubble of his beard in front of his ear. Then he remembered the road at home. He jogged in the gray cell and he dwelled on the past thoughts and the thoughts unfolded in chronological sections in his mind and began with his memory of jogging in the rolling foothills of the San Joaquin Valley in California. It was a good memory and he dwelled on it a long time.