Doctor Gordon was unlocking the closet. He dragged out a table on wheels with a machine on it and rolled it behind the head of the bed. The nurse started swabbing my temples with a smelly grease.
As she leaned over to reach the side of my head nearest the wall, her fat breast muffled my face like a cloud or a pillow. A vague, medicinal stench emanated from her flesh.
“Don’t worry,” the nurse grinned down at me. “Their first time everybody’s scared to death.”
I tried to smile, but my skin had gone stiff, like parchment.
Doctor Gordon was fitting two metal plates on either side of my head. He buckled them into place with a strap that dented my forehead, and gave me a wire to bite.
I shut my eyes.
There was a brief silence, like an indrawn breath.
Then something bent down and took hold of me and shook me like the end of the world. Whee-ee-ee-ee-ee, it shrilled, through an air crackling with blue light, and with each flash a great jolt drubbed me till I thought my bones would break and the sap would fly out of me like a split plant.
I wondered what terrible thing it was that I had done.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar