By David O. Heishman –
They stood me up almost naked on this little ledge, between two chilly surfaces. One behind like a hard flat bed. One in front like a big square plate that I found out moved up and down. They handed me a small plastic jar of barium, a thick white liquid, told me to hold it in my left hand and drink it when they told me to.
A doctor with an accent poked a couple buttons, made a couple test runs up and down with that front plate, then ordered “Drrink eet!” I drank it. Two big gulps of thick creamy sort of tasteless goop. The plate moved up and down. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a monitor with an X-ray picture of me with a big glop sliding down my throat.
“Drrink some more!” “I can’t. I drank it all.” A look of disgust passed between doctor and technician who grabbed another jar and handed it to me. “OK. Take beeg mouth full, but don’t swallow until I tell you.” Cheeks all pooched out with white glop, I waited.
“Swallow eet!” I swallowed. Clink, clank, whirr, groan, grunt. The grunt was from the doctor. Machine was malfunctioning. Two jars of glop later he had what he wanted and told me to get dressed…