The Mac 5000 15-lead ECG had finally shit the bed. Hell of a run considering they’d picked it up well before her. She’d arrived in ’04, which made the Mac then a stalwart 10, so fortune would see its final crash at its voltage between pairs. The ER, except for her, was empty. It had to be at this hour. She was fine with that. A few allotted lights served enough reminder of the sterile white she’d goddamn never gotten use to. She hated the smell, the patterns beyond the white in the floor tiling, the pattern on the walls in sparsely straight-tight textured paper. Pastels for Indians. What a joy. Patterns in the floor. So you knew where to put your foot. She’d tell kids to narrate the shapes, like good clouds, as a means of distraction. It worked in reverse because they usually had nothing to say. The tile was for what they were told to keep on the ground when they looked up.
Lance, at sixteen, in ’06, had seen falling leaves. He’d seen a sycamore, though he’d never seen one in the world. One time he goddamn saw pita bread of all things. Her distraction, the only time it worked, still did so in reverse. It distracted her from him. God didn’t play with dice. There had been too much to like. He shared the name of the man who’d started all this, Le War Lance. She had put up with Frazier’s On the Rez, mostly cause like Le War, she cut her hair in odd shapes and wore even stranger clothes. He taught her it was ok to feel that she was pickin up pieces of a new world as she went, even if it was the one she ‘came from’. She’d been a yellow raft in blue water, so people gave her paint. Thanks to Le War, she proudly kept her Rayona-esque yellow, and painted everything else.
It had taken five years from veering off the Mohawk Trail heading toward Naulakha to get to nothing. Staring a thousand miles at a broken machine, for the first time she went numb. Time as the changing of space continued to be everything but her, until she looked down, remembering rain on fallen leaves.