It's amazing how quickly the brain will revert back to previously embedded memories, how easily sleep can replace the present with a distant Eden that should have been long forgotten. Drifting out of consciousness, the mind in its weariness replaces discomfort with a blissful emptiness. Sleeping, slipping into forgotten skins, the subconscious often errs; the mind, in its wishful folly, refuses to reintegrate perception with reality.
Waking slowly in a foreign place, the disconnect is jarring, as the brain inserts a pleasant memory--a soft bed, the warm arms of a lover--in lieu of the stark truth of an unfamiliar sofa, a bathtub, a hospital bed.
In the presence of prolonged anguish, this slippage begins to intrude upon the fully-conscious mind. When the soul panics, struggling to protect its tender heart from agony, the brain overlays perception with a veneer of better days long past. As this carapace thickens and hardens, sanity and awareness are slowly broken down and replaced by skins shed long ago, until even the cold white steel of a surgeon's table feels like home.
What the hell even is this. I have no idea.