Today is my girlfriend Irene’s third operation. “This time women’s troubles,” Nurse Croner whispers. I pick Irene a bouquet of pink and yellow roses from the bushes outside Hooper Hall. Thorns cut my fingers. Burt the Attendant scolds me for stealing, says next time he’ll drown me in Bladder Pond. I’m not allowed to visit Irene so the bouquet winds up in the Day Room for everyone to enjoy.
Doc decides I need more blood to the brain. I tell him it’s not good to move blood around and that too much blood could crack my glass head. “Nonsense,” he says. I enter the Therapy Room. Burt lifts me into a chair hanging from the ceiling and straps me in. Doc pulls on a blindfold—soft cotton feels good over my eyes. Burt sneezes. The chair starts to turn so I grab the steel posts rising out of the armrests. Soon I’m spinning like a top. Why, it feels just like I’m back at the Boston Fair riding the Moonrocket with Pops. “Hang on tight, son,” Pops warns, “hang on for your life!”