The music of the MRI

by DRM

For the first half, I sat in the room with her. She was covered with a white sheet and slid into the massive doughnut of the machine. Another person might see the image morbidly, as if she was half slid out of a mortuary storage slot. I didn’t see an image at all; just my girl lying quietly in the MRI. All observations of fact.

The one metaphor was physical, and wasn’t really a metaphor at all: the music of the MRI. Each sequence was numbered, seemingly randomly: 3, 19, 14, 12, 7. The numbers were visible on a digital display. A second display showed the duration of the sequence and counted down, like a CD player. Each sequence had a different rhythm. It was like a rhythm section was laying down the foundation track, and as I sat there, I let my thoughts lay over the melody, noodling over the syncopation, beat by beat, searching for something that could get its hooks into the track and grow.

I understood what Billy Strayhorn heard when he wrote Blood Count.

You can hear the music of the MRI here.