Reading Journal Post #1
Chapters 2 - 6
In Chapters 2 - 6, Tom Harvey wakes up in the hospital after being in a coma for seventeen days. The audience is then introduced to his Grandmother, who he refers to as 'Gram', and who also happens to be his only guardian. There is an incredible relief that Tom is not going to die, although the situation reminds 'Gram' of Tom's mother, who died a long time ago in a hit and run. However, Tom starts to realize that something is not quite right with his head. Dr. Kirby, a neurosurgeon, informs Tom that pieces of the iPhone were impossible to remove from some areas of his brain, and that Tom is stuck with them for life. This isn't really crucial until a bit later in the story.
Tom begins to experience some unsettling feelings, all of which come from inside of his head. He suddenly sees flashes of information, hears and feels strange things going on inside of his body, and he has no idea why. His skin carries an electric charge, and strange colors appear on it as well. Instead of alerting Dr. Kirby, Gram, or the two policeman who come knocking, Tom keeps all these weird feelings to himself, and tries to figure them out on his own. Some of the strangeness inside of his head alerts him to a newspaper article, which describes at length the break-in to Tom's friend Lucy's apartment the physical assault on her brother Ben, and the rape that several members of the local gang had committed on Tom's best friend. It turns out that this happened on the very day that Tom was going to go visit Lucy, and he returns to that day in his mind, trying to place the mysterious figure on the thirteenth floor that threw the iPhone at his head.
Tom is finally released from the hospital and goes home, to a low-end apartment complex, in the same building as his friend Lucy, and there he finally figures out what is causing all these irregularities; the iPhone in his brain. The circuits have somehow merged with his brain, causing him to develop extraordinary abilities. He can call, text, email, search, hack, everything an iPhone can do and more, all anonymously. Not exactly something every sixteen-year-old figures out on a daily basis. But before exploring his vast database that is now available to him, he decides he has to do one thing first; He has to go see Lucy. And Lucy is not doing so well. Tom doesn't exactly know how to talk to her. After all, what can you say to someone who's just been violated?
While never winding up in the hospital myself, I think my first reaction upon waking up in a hospital room would be a slight panicking since, after all, the only reason patients are administered to hospitals is because there is something wrong with them. Tom seems to stomach his situation much more calmly than I would expect, and when he starts to notice that his brain is acting strangely, he doesn't tell anyone about it, preferring to keep it to himself. When talking to the police, he thinks "It might not have been the whole truth, but I wasn't going to tell him that, was I? I wasn't going to tell him that the newspaper report just appeared in my head out of nowhere" (23). I understand that all he really wants to do is to get home and out of the hospital, and that part of the human nature is to sometimes suppress things and hope they go away, but I personally would have at least clued someone in, like perhaps my neurosurgeon? Usually, after brain surgery, when the hallucinations start, that's when everyone realizes that something went wrong and to not alert a doctor is almost a death sentence. I believe I would have told someone, even if it was just my parents (or grandmother, in this case) just to let someone know something had gone wrong.
Questions to Consider:
Would you have told someone if you started to experience weird disturbances in your head?
How would you respond to a friend being violated, like Lucy was?
What could you do to bring the offenders to justice in a Mafia-like structure of society where to talk to the police is both futile and a death-sentence?