Saturday, June 9, 2012


I missed the turn because of the tears, and thought there was a turn where there wasn't, so I waited at the intersection at the light in the turn lane with nowhere to turn, and cried. I cried because I felt my leg. I felt my leg on the break, and I realized 3000 miles away, she couldn't. 3000 miles away my mother's leg was numb, and it burned, the plaque intercepting her nerves from the feeling. I realized the plaque could grow until there was no feeling left and that she, just not it would be paralyzed.  I thought how many times we've used that word, misused that word, 'paralyzed'. "Unable to act, the absence of motion, of feeling".  Perhaps for a moment i have been unable to act just for a moment, a second, by fear, or guilt, or life, or just that feeling of not quite being in your skin. But i have never really been nothing, felt nothing. I feel too much, there has always been a something to feel; whether it be pain or fear or joy or even apathy.  I have never felt nothing. "Nothing, no motion. Frozen. No life, no heat. Dead. Numb."  There's nothing after that, no kick, no step, no freedom. Stuck.I thought of this as I waited I thought of her feeling nothing.

It was a quick call, hours earlier. It was an after the fact conversation about emergency rooms and plaque, and a casual reference of not being able to move much less walk. A simple 'So this thing happened' like she was telling me about a minor bump in a parking lot. My mother mentions her illness with the casualty of  sharing going to a new restaurant. "So by the way I'm on IV's now".  There's a certain flair for the dramatic and self indulgence she's never had, so I inherited most of it for her. Since seven I've been feeling for her, but I couldn't feel this.

 Here I was, on the opposite coast, my foot on the break, my foot on the gas, in motion, mobile, a task I do mindlessly. Music purring through the speakers mindlessly. When I walk, steps I take mindlessly,  thoughts forming words mindlessly, these fingers I type mindlessly, ungratefully.  I can't be grateful after every step, every task ,because that gratefulness is too scary, the fragility is to scary.  The trust is too scary. The brain tells me to move and i move, I scratch my head, I squish my toes, I think to speak and before i can think it, it is done. But tonight maybe she can't, in weeks she might never,  so  I feel my foot on the gas, and turn. Not quite sure where I'm going, but I turn because I can.