I have been here for two hours but I feel displaced in time, as if I have never been anywhere else. The small exam room has a single painting of a meadow, and the low narrow window is shuttered so that I cannot see the trees or morning light. My heart thumps hard and rapidly in my chest.
Outside the closed door behind me I hear the faint muffled voices of technicians at the nurse's station, and then a deeper voice. The conversations and laughter stop. Silence seeps under the door. I shiver and tighten my grip on the plastic arms of the examination chair.