Книга The Dead Zone. Содержание - CHAPTER NINE

He turned over. A dim silhouette stood in his doorway. A small man with rounded shoulders. It was Weizak.

“No. I'm awake.”

“I hoped so. May I come in?”

“Yes. Please do.”

Weizak looked older tonight. He sat by Johnny's bed. “I was on the phone earlier,” he said. “I called directory assistance for Carmel, California. I asked for a Mrs. Johanna Borentz. Do you think there was such a number?”

“Unless it's unlisted Qr she doesn't have a phone at all,” Johnny said.

“She has a phone. I was given the number.”

“Ah,” Johnny said. He was interested because he liked Weizak, but that was all. He felt no need to have his knowledge of Johanna Borentz validated, because he knew it was valid knowledge-he knew it the same way he knew he was right-handed.

“I sat for a long time and thought about it,” Weizak said. “I told you my mother was dead, but that was really only an assumption. My father died in the defense of Warsaw. My mother simply never turned up, huh? It was logical to assume that she had been killed in the shelling… during the occupation… you understand. She never turned up, so it was logical to assume that. Amnesia… as a neurologist I can tell you that permanent, general amnesia is very, very rare. Probably rarer than true schizophrenia. I have never read of a documented case lasting thirtyfive years.”

“She recovered from her amnesia long ago,” Johnny said. “I think she simply blocked everything out. When her memory did come back, she had remarried and was the mother of two children… possibly three. Remembering became a guilt trip, maybe. But she dreams of you. “The boy is safe.” Did you call her?”

“Yes,” Weizak said. “I dialed it direct. Did you know you could do that now? Yes. It is a great convenience. You dial one, the area code, the number. Eleven digits and you can be in touch with any place in the country.

It is an amazing thing. In some ways a frightening thing… A boy-no, a young man-answered the telephone. I asked if Mrs. Borentz was at home. I heard him call, “Mom, it's for you.” Clunk went the receiver on the table or desk or whatever. I stood in Bangor, Maine, not forty miles from the Atlantic Ocean and listened to a young man put the phone down on a table in a town on the Pacific Ocean. My heart… it was pounding so hard it frightened me. The wait seemed long. Then she picked up the phone and said, “Yes? Hello?"”

“What did you say? How did you handle it?”

“I did not, as you say, handle it,” Weizak replied, and smiled crookedly. “I hung up the telephone. And I wished for a strong drink, but I did not have one.

“Are you satisfied it was her?”

“John, what a naive question! I was nine years old in 1939. I had not heard my mother's voice since then. She spoke only Polish when I knew her I speak only English now… I have forgotten much of my native language, which is a shameful thing. How could I be satisfied one way or the other?”

“Yes, but were you?”

Weizak scrubbed a hand slowly across his forehead. “Yes,” he said. “It was her. It was my mother.”

“But you couldn't talk to her?”

“Why should I?” Weizak asked, sounding almost angry. “Her life is her life, huh? It is as you said. The boy is safe. Should I upset a woman that is just coming into her years of peace? Should I take the chance of destroying her equilibrium forever? Those feelings of guilt you mentioned… should I set them free? Or even run the risk of so doing?”

“I don't know,” Johnny said. They were troublesome questions, and the answers were beyond him-but he felt that Weizak was trying to say something about what he had done by articulating the questions. The questions he could not answer.

“The boy is safe, the woman is safe in Carmel. The country is between them, and we let that be. But what about you, John? What are we going to do about you?”

“I don't understand what you mean.”

“I will spell it out for you then, huh? Dr. Brown is angry. He is angry at me, angry at you, and angry at himself, I suspect, for half-believing something he has been sure is total poppycock for his whole life. The nurse who was a witness will never keep her silence. She will tell her husband tonight in bed, and it may end there, but her husband may tell his boss, and it is very possible that the papers will have wind of this by tomorrow evening. “Coma Patient Re-Awakens with Second Sight. "”

“Second sight,” Johnny said. “Is that what it is?”

“I don't know what it is, not really. Is it psychic? Seer? Handy words that describe nothing, nothing at all. You told one of the nurses that her son's optic surgery was going to be successful…

“Marie,” Johnny murmured. He smiled a little. He liked Marie.

…and that is already all over the hospital. Did you see the future? Is that what second sight is? I don't know. You put a picture of my mother between your hands and were able to tell me where she lives today. Do you know where lost things and lost people may be found? Is that what second sight is? I don't know. Can you read thoughts? Influence objects of the physical world? Heal by the laying on of hands? These are all things that some call “psychic”. They are all related to the idea of “second sight”. They are things that Dr. Brown laughs at. Laughs? No. He doesn't laugh. He scoffs.”

“And you don't?”

“I think of Edgar Cayce. And Peter Hurkos. I tried to tell Dr. Brown about Hurkos and he scoffed. He doesn't want to talk about it; he doesn't want to know about it.”

Johnny said nothing.

“So… what are we going to do about you?”

“Does something need to be done?”

“I think so,” Weizak said. He stood up. “I'll leave you to think it out for yourself. But when you think, think about this: some things are better not seen, and some things are better lost than found.”

He bade Johnny good night and left quietly. Johnny was very tired now, but still sleep did not come for a long time.



Johnny's first surgery was scheduled for May 28. Both Weizak and Brown had explained the procedure carefully to him. He would be given a local anesthetic-neither of them felt a general could be risked. This first operation would be on his knees and ankles. His own ligaments, which had shortened during his long sleep, would be lengthened with a combination of plastic wonder-fibers. The plastic to be used was also employed in heart valve bypass surgery. The question was not so much one of his body's acceptance or rejection of the artificial ligaments, Brown told him, as it was a question of his legs” ability to adjust to the change. if they had good results with the knees and the ankles, three more operations were on the boards: one on the long ligaments of his thighs, one on the elbow-trap ligaments, and possibly a third on his neck, which he could barely turn at all. The surgery was to be performed by Raymond Ruopp, who had pioneered the technique. He was flying in from San Francisco.

“What does this guy Ruopp want with me, if he's such a superstar?” Johnny asked. Superstar was a word he had learned from Marie. She had used it in connection with a balding, bespectacled singer with the unlikely name of Elton John.

“You're underestimating your own superstar qualities,” Brown answered. “There are only a handful of people in the United States who have recovered from comas as long as yours was. And of that handful, your recovery from the accompanying brain damage has been the most radical and pleasing.”

Sam Weizak was more blunt. “You're a guinea pig, huh?”


“Yes. Look into the light, please. “Weizak shone a light into the pupil of Johnny's left eye. “Did you know I can look right at your optic nerve with this thing? Yes. The eyes are more than the windows of the soul. They are one of the brain's most crucial maintenance points.”

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