A young woman has an accident and ends up in a coma, and is now narrating her inner life having grown into a middle-aged woman. This is a short but very poignant story, with a subject which can be picked up on right from the beginning. It is a middle-aged woman who, having had a severe car accident when only aged 24, is left paralyzed and is narrating her experience as a “thinking vegetable”.
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It is soon clear that she has been this way for a long time from the way she speaks of how “(the nurse) treated me like she did any other piece of furniture”, which in itself highlights the obvious tragedy of such a situation.
However she does not invite pity; in a consistently wry tone, she introduces her own imaginary refuge, the “mind café”, in which she continues her career in writing and chats with people she knew from her “former life”, who are now visitors and who in reality don't hear her side of the conversation. It transpires later that one of her visitors has invented a device that allows her to communicate partially by blinking.
As youthful ambitions are recalled, it is all the more tragic that these never came to happen, and people come and go from her life, while she is forced to remain stationary for the rest of her own.
By the end of the story, she is isolated from human contact even more, her only comfort being a priest who reads her the Bible, one story in particular she appreciates because “he was the one poor soul whose life was worse than mine”.
Although we are discouraged from feeling too sorry for this woman, it becomes inevitable to acknowledge that what is taken for granted can be so suddenly taken away, from a relatively new author who already shows a good deal of promise.
Best part of story, including ending:
It shows that someone in a coma is not just a stationary object, that their life continues within.
Best scene in story:
When she speaks in her mind with a former partner, it explores what could have been, and it is ultimately inconclusive whether there would have been a happy ending for the two after all.
Opinion about the main character:
Rosie is/was an apparently straightfoward young woman who has retained her personality despite not being able to share it anymore in real life.