Speeding through the pretty landscape in the fastest train in europe: a good way to spend a sunny afternoon. My mind quietly drifts to the smooth thrum of the wheels; at 400km/h the french countryside is a pleasant green blur through the window of the TGV. My eyelids begin to droop.
Something is being dragged over me and suddenly I’m very cold. I can’t see or move at all but I’m not afraid. I feel calm, objective. The voices seem tense, business like, strained – after a long time I realise that I can’t understand them.
“Etat bleu,etat bleu, etat bleu…”, a clear woman’s voice from nearby, tired almost bored sounding.
“Etat rouge, il respire , médecin! Etat rouge! Ici!”, much closer now.
Then I hear frantic activity, a hubbub of foreign voices: all calm, all urgent, all doing something. They sound really stressed, I wonder what could be so important. But whatever their business it is over soon enough and they rush off. It’s quiet again but still so cold.
“Etat bleu, etat bleu…”, that same woman again very close now – near my feet. A weight is rolled off my right arm. She is so close I can hear her breathing now.
“Dieu ait pitié”, she whispers. And then, louder, “Etat bleu”.
Something warm touches me, pulls against my shoulder, almost lifts me. It hurts. I think I scream and that damn woman starts getting all excited again.