I was seven years old the first time I passed out. My sister and I had ear infections and the doctor examined her first. We were both in the room at the same time. I know that sounds strange, but it was the seventies. I'm surprised the doctor wasn't smoking at the time.
He stuck some gross machine in her ear and she started screaming. I started freaking out. Then, at least in the way I remember it, an Evil Dead like geyser of blood shot out her ear all over the office and I went from feeling scared and nervous to floaty and peaceful. It was sort of like I was being carried away on a pleasant little cloud. Then a nurse waved an ammonia pack under my nose and I was back in the House of Pain.
In the years to come I would pass out or come close in most of the doctors' offices I visited. The ammonia capsule would get waved under my nose to bring me back, and almost 90 percent of the time the nurse would tell me some lie like, "Oh, we have big construction workers and football players who faint as soon as I take the needle out" to make me feel better.
It wasn't always doctors that did it. Once I was sitting in a McDonald's with some high school friends. I took a big sip of Coke and thought, "Hey, that feels like it's caught in my throat." Before I could say anything, everyone's voices got all bass-y and echo-y, like my friends' conversation had been remixed by Lee Perry. Next thing I knew, I was floating back to Cloudland. I woke up confused with one of my shoes a few feet away. I wasn't sure how much time had passed.
Naturally, my friends thought I was just being an attention-seeking high school punk rocker, which honestly, was a pretty safe bet.
Sometimes I wouldn't even need needles or killer Coke bubbles. I once passed out at my
desk after watching a particular gross film in health class. For the
rest of the year the coach who taught the class swore I was on the
Somehow I've gotten better; it's probably been over 20 years since I've passed out in a doctor's office. Actually, the last time I remember passing out I was sitting comfortably in my Gainesville apartment.
A friend called me with a problem. I don't remember the whole story, but he had started lifting weights and was having ....well, he was having male problems. Somehow this new weight lifting regime caused his balls to become swollen and painful. He was telling me how he had to walk down to the clinic and ....Hey. Someone was messing with the Earth's volume. Everything was going in and out and sounding all "whuhwhuhwhuhwuhwhuh." I was flying again.
I woke up sprawled across my mattress. I wasn't sure how long I had been out, but long enough that my friend had been asking if I was OK. I said I was and hung up.
A little known fact about passing out is that it's actually kind of pleasant afterwards. Your skin is all clammy and you're sort of light-headed, peaceful, and calm. Probably because all that adrenaline used for freaking out has been burned up. It generally lasts for about 20 minutes or so.
I walked down to the porch to get some air and try to figure out what had just happened. A couple of the guys from Less than Jake were on the porch. They thought I was on the dope, also. I didn't let that bother me. People were talking and drinking, as they usually were. I sat on the swing and stared out into the night, with my post-fainting calmness washing over me.
Then I probably bought some King Kobra and acted the fool.