I’ve had some odd headaches lately. The doctor said “I’d like to get a look at your brain.” So she strapped me to the gurney and fired up the ol’ rotary saw.

No! Nothing of the sort! She said “We should get an MRI.” This morning, bright and early, I reported down to the Imaging Center, and entered the machine.

I went into this curious. I have some tendencies toward claustrophobia, but not much. I figured I could hack it, and I wanted to see what it was like. The radiologist offered me music through my headphones, because, she warned me, it would be noisy. I declined. I wanted to hear the forces around me.

(They tell you to keep your eyes shut through the process. You need to keep your head absolutely still, and even blinking would disrupt their scan. I have to wonder if this is actually medically necessary, or if they just tell people that to cut down on the occurrences of screaming panic. Or both.)

The sounds were found music, experimental electronic music such as on the Seastones album. At times, in the tube, I felt like I was inside a dot matrix printer, or a classic video game. The sound became 80s music, which turned into a Bach crescendo. Then it would vanish, leaving me in silence as sudden as Elijah’s, but always, underneath it all, came the distant Pacing Sound, the drummer of this band, the heartbeat of the machine.

You go into the tube, into the dark, and in the tube is only you and magnetism and God and music.