The best thing about my doctor is that she doesn’t want to stop the auras. “We can treat the headaches without getting rid of them now,” she assures me using now as opposed to before. “I’ve heard that you know a lot more about vascular headaches now than you did when I was diagnosed.” We have. We have. I don’t have the heart to tell her that my peripheral experiences are not limited to auras. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it might be another psychosis.

And then there’s the matter of hearing things:

You’re saying things to me and I’m not listening because they don’t sound like themselves. They sound like other phenomena, thinly disguised as words. As a patient I wonder if I should report or suppress them. As a writer I wonder if I could catalog the encoded phrases for later use in evoking scenes with purest linguistic sleight of hand.

I love you (January, despite a distance): Something felty born into the corner and coming forward to watch us lie still afterwards, licked by a rough tongue but motherless.

..last song I played for my mother
(November, unexpectedly): Wooden chair legs scraping against a wooden floor until the back hits a soft white wall. (And I began to cry.)

She thinks calling you [xxx] is too intimate
(November/October, causing the collapse of months): Grapes deserted and sandy wherever they’ve broken.

Meanwhile other scenes go on. In other halls “apricot” still means “kissed by the sun” and “mercy…” What does mercy mean, again?

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