'The Homesman': 15 Minutes with Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones

November 12, 2014 7:18 PM

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I'm being slid into an MRI machine at a radiology center in Beverly Hills. Have you had an MRI? It's like being buried alive in a coffin with loud, rapid-fire gunshots exploding by your ears. The gunshot sounds are the machine's metal coils shaking as electricity moves through them. And the sound is rhythmic, like industrial music. So, essentially, having an MRI is like being at a rave, only you're trapped in a coffin as club kids on ecstasy dance around your head. A neurologist ordered my MRI due to a pulsating pressure behind my right eye. It began following a breakup. I don't want to believe the loss of a girl could produce a physical abnormality in my brain. I don't want to give her that much power. I'm merely reporting that the headaches began shortly after the communication stopped. Now, I'm worried I have a brain tumor or brain cancer or a festering aneurysm wired to detonate in my head. Frankly, just thinking about my out-of-pocket expense for the MRI is enough to trigger an aneurysm. The whole thing is terrifying.

I'm highly claustrophobic and, as I lay in the MRI machine/coffin, I start to hyperventilate. To distract myself, I close my eyes and force other thoughts into my possibly damaged brain: Gwen Stefani, Alexa Chung, GG Allin, Keira Knightley, Curious George, Billy Joel's "Stiletto," vitamin D3, Interv...

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