Those are the words Doc used to inform Nelson, the crew, and I of Lee’s condition. No truer words have ever been spoken.
It all began when Seaview hit some turbulence.
A simple ‘rock and roll’, and Lee, in the wrong place at the wrong time, tumbled down frame 47’s ladder,
and almost broke his neck. Instead, he gained himself a really nasty concussion, some badly bruised ribs, a twisted ankle,
and severe amnesia.
He still doesn’t even know who he
is. And what’s worse, is that he has the mind of a young child. And not the child that was Lee Crane. He knows nothing
of his past at all, yet confused to be in the body of a grown man, complete with face stubble, and, well, let’s just
say post pubescent anatomy. He’s a little awed by it, and scared too. He
doesn’t like not knowing himself.
It doesn’t help that Admiral Starke’s aboard for this cruise and now’s acting ‘in loco parentis’ (since
Nelson’s in Washington) speaking to him in rather childish condescending tones that make me cringe. Lee doesn’t
seem to notice, however. I guess, perhaps because Lee is still a child in his own mind.
And it’s not possible to fly Lee back
to Santa Barbara and the head trauma experts, as the FS1 is in dry dock undergoing a few modifications. So Lee’s stuck aboard a boat he has no memory of, a crew he doesn’t know, an Admiral he seems to like (!), well, sort of, okay, he tolerates him, and a friend (me) whom he can’t
bring himself to open up to, or trust. Oh, we can tell him this and that about
himself, but since he doesn’t remember any of it, he finds it hard to believe I can be anything to him other than a
Reserve Naval officer. It’s as though we’ve never been friends and he’s not trying to be. And that hurts.
Apparently at the mindset he’s at,
he hasn’t been bitten by the submarine bug yet either. He was impressed
with the view from the Observation Nose, certainly, but there’s no ‘link’ to her that any of us can see.
I have to admit I’m scared. Doc doesn’t
know if the amnesia is temporary or permanent. I can’t imagine Lee not being Lee again. And I can’t fathom what Nelson must be going through.
All I can think is that I don’t want
to lose my friend. My brother.
God help us.