Thursday, November 3, 2011


The days are getting warmer,  but the air is still cool and smells like rain and rivers most of the time.  Inside the house,  my Grandmother and my Aunt are baking sugar cookies.  Most will be shaped like bunnies, and eggs, and Easter baskets.  Despite being well out of season, a  few will be shaped like bats, at my firm insistence, for Batman, of course.

Too busy for baking, I am outside, climbing the picnic table and gleefully flinging myself off of it again, endlessly entertained and completely immune to self trauma.  I could fight bad guys and villains all afternoon and never tire.  I am invincible, as only a child can be.

Tied snugly around my neck is a ratty blue tea towel that has seen better and more dignified days.  Its crocheted, covered in pale blue flowers with buttery yellow centers.  At one end, the dark blue border is stretched out into two long, irregular points, where it ties under my chin.  This is, undoubtedly, my favourite cape.

I am running down the length of the table,  about to hurl myself through the air, when something changes...

I can't say what it is that catches my attention first.  It might have been  the way the light seems to disappear from the sky, siphoned away like liquid below the horizon, or it might be the way the clouds seem suddenly oppressively and suffocatingly close, grown thick with shadows and menace.

My body has frozen.  I cannot move.  At the end of the table i am stopped for all time, eyes glued to the rapidly darkening sky.  All I can do is stare and stare.  There are no sounds.  The entire world has emptied.  A slow panic builds, my guts make lazy loop-de loops, building waves of nausea.  My throat closes, to stop them from escaping.  My heart hammers in my chest.

Nothing is right.


But no sound will come.  I try and try but all the sounds are gone and i can not make any new ones.

I spend an eternity there, in a world gone still.



Suddenly, my body goes limp as I am swept, like a quaking leaf,  into the air by a pair of strong, well furred arms.  My grandfather has come to collect me.  I burst into tears, at once relieved and terrified.  He's looking at me,  brow wrinkled in puzzlement.  I bounce in his arms as he carries me towards the porch, bawling nonsense syllables and sucking air back into my lungs huge ragged gasps.

I cannot speak it.  Cannot tell.

I never knew what happened.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I told my parents about the MRI thing tonight, about what happened at the theatre,  and the referral to neurology, and waiting to hear back about when the test will be,  and i told them its not really a big deal.  That there's no point in worrying until somebody has answers, that it would be silly to get worked up about something that might be nothing.

I told them all the things i've been telling myself all week.

But when i told them that i had given their number to my friends in case anything DID happen again, thats when my mom just started to cry and cry and cry.

There was a thick silence right before the sobs welled up, that tiny space in time where her brain calculated all the long distances between us,  and all the terrible great unknowns, and all the what ifs and all the possible outcomes and end points.

Later, there was a scramble of words, as she tried to fix it, as though she could just Mom the situation into something acceptable for all of us.

Silence again, when she couldn't.