There I was, in this large, windowless room, lighter than day, surrounded by a team of enthusiastic people. All around, dangling from the walls and suspended on rolling stands, were the latest technological manifestations of man’s exploration and gaining of insights, applied to remedial medical endeavors.
“Your leg is broken,” the doctor explained, “but your knee also needs to be replaced, so we can do that too. What would you like to get from this?”
“Well,” I said, from a medicated state, “Of course I’d like to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but it would also be nice to just be able to walk.”
“So that’s what we need to do. Are you ready then?” he asked.
“To be honest,” I said, “my gut instinct would be to head for the hills, but as it is, I don’t think I’m going anywhere.” Then, I thought out loud, “Get two goats…Where did I get goats?” I had been thinking “two birds with one stone.”
So, I lay there, and as I was being prepped for the operation, the spelunking feeling came again, like a wave, over me.
“Here we go,” the Doctor said. “OK?”
“OK”, I said.
The five of us were there, in the flash-lit cavern, resting, as we looked around, contemplating our adventure thus far and the scene in which we found ourselves now. It was apparent that, in previous times, candles had been used to illuminate the place, as mounds of wax encased several of the table-like boulders.
We chatted about who might have been there before and what all had taken place. We imagined ancient natives, wild people living there and what they ate. We speculated about wild parties and strange ceremonies. Then, as we ran out of conjures, or perhaps because they became somewhat uncomfortable, Ray spoke up, pointing to one of the openings, and said, “Next we go through here. You have to go through on your back and when you get to the end, to fit through, you have to turn your shoulders. Are you ready?”
There was some questioning about this next stunt, but ready to go we were.
One by one, each of us slid into the gap in between the boulders. When it was my turn, I went over and placed my feet and scooted through the hole, into the beyond, in a supine position. I realized, as I groped and made my way, that I was crossing a layer, I don’t know how deep, of cans and bottles. It occurred to me that one could end up with a pretty good gash should a piece of broken glass be in the way, possibly even requiring sutures. There was no turning back, nor any way to see in order to avoid such an occurrence, as the flashlight was not a lot of help; there was hardly enough space to lift my head and look around.
There was plenty of air though, so I breathed deeply, and continued to scoot and shimmy until I could feel my feet meet with the next doorway, which I worked my way through until the point where my shoulders wouldn’t fit. I felt a bit stuck and edgy as I squirmed and twisted until I got to an angle that allowed me passage.
Once through, we found ourselves once again in an area where we could stand and see with our flashlights. We made our way along until we came to a ledge that hovered over a channel that was about as deep as I was tall. It was a pretty good jump down, but at the bottom it was sandy, so the landing was not hard. We traipsed along the channel and Ray shone his light along the right-hand side of the wall and roof area ahead of us.
“Somewhere around here,” he mused, “is the way out.”
At that point, everyone shone their flashlights ahead, looking for anything that would be an indicator of a link to the world on the other side. I noticed Sally inspecting an area that seemed as though dirt and soil were surrounding the outcroppings of rocks and then, a sighting of some green plant growth, which, though it was dark outside now, was evidence that here was where the light of day could grace the tunnel. A short climb up over some more boulders led to what was likely the traditional pore from which to emerge from this amazing realm of inner earth. And so we did.
“Your all done,” said the Doctor. “How are you feeling?”
“Where am I?”