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Don Tassone is the author of two novels and five short story collections. He lives in Loveland, Ohio. Visit him at dontassone.com.

After my accident in 1972, I fell into a coma. A few days ago, I woke up.
How I've managed to stay alive, I don't know. For nearly 50 years, as I lay in bed, I wasn't able to see or speak or move. But I heard everything, and I followed what was happening in the world.
When I awoke, I asked my nurse why she wasn't wearing a mask.
"A mask?" she said.
"For Covid."
"For what?"
I tried to explain, but she seemed oblivious. Maybe it was the shock of me waking up.
Over the next two days, I talked to a slew of doctors. They quizzed me about what I claimed I'd heard while I was unconscious.
I told them everything. I told them about Watergate and three presidential impeachments, the Internet and cell phones, 9/11 and Covid-19.
They seemed not to know about any of these things. In fact, they seemed skeptical of everything I said.
I wished someone would come to my aid. I wished my parents were around. It still made me sad that I'd missed their funerals. It made me sad that my friends stopped coming by to see me decades ago. I've been alone a very long time.
I heard voices in the hallway outside my door. I heard my name. Finally, a doctor came in and told me they'd decided to transfer me to a special facility for "observation and treatment."
My new room is nearly bare. There's a calendar on my wall. I stare at it a lot. It's for the year 1972. It looks new.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, July 14th, 2022
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