(198): Girl Disappearing Around a Corner…
A semi- stream of consciousness sketch
Where did she go? I feel the rising panic; she turned her back to me and then just disappeared! I can’t chase her; I wouldn’t know which way to go.
My bed has been my world as long as I remember; only I don’t remember it. I only know that I am always here. I would like to try to get out, but I am afraid. The world drops off into dark space, no surface, no edges, nothing to grip, no place to go. As I said, my bed is my world.
I hear voices talking, but I can’t see anyone. It is like I am on a lit stage. I know there are people watching me, but the glare of the spotlight is like the Sun. I can’t see the stars, even if I know they are there.
The voices are stars; can I blot out the Sun in order to listen to the stars? Breathe. Remember. Breathe deeply. Understand. Recover. There are many things I do not know. Listen to the stars. They will tell me what I need to know.
“How was she doing, Isabelle?”
“She looked at me and reached for me, and she was upset when I turned to leave. Do you think she knows who I am and that I am coming back?”
“Listen, honey. She is not crying or screaming now. She is silent.”
“Maybe she knows.”
I heard that. The stars are telling me of their presence, even if the Sun is blinding me. I believe you are there, stars. I believe I will see you again.
Come back to me. I will wait for you.
“Is she asleep, Isabelle?”
“I’ll check, Auntie.”
A lovely face appears at the door. Smiling. Just for a second. The stars are really there. I am not alone.
“She’s smiling at me,” Isabelle began to tear up. “Oh Auntie. Maybe she is coming out of it. It’s like she knew me and knew I loved her.”
“Yes, child. She is strong, and she will recover. Believe in her, but let her rest.”
The stars are my friends. They are telling me to sleep. Despite the Sun, I will sleep.
The long dark continued. Where are the stars? Where is the Sun?
My eyes are open. There is no light. No voices.
Make a noise; prove I can move and speak.
“Hello?” I hear myself. Feel around. Table, bed, dark haze…light haze.
“Where am I?” I asked.
Isabelle started. She was sitting by the bed as her mother awoke, as from a long sleep.
“Oh, mother, you’re here!” Suddenly I knew her, and I knew myself. Where was I? I know where I am now. My daughter embraced me. My sister stood weeping at the door. I know who I am and where I am. I can see the love behind the world, perception, my eyes are oriented again…the floor where the deep dark had been, a lamp for the Sun, the illumination diffused in from the outer room — the stars.
The vision lifted in a haze of sunlit dew; then the bed was gone, Isabelle was gone, and I was gone. The last memory was the only one, and it was like a faraway scratching of an oft-played record, the title of which has been forgotten long ago.
End note: Although I typically write stories to go with a photo, this time the story emerged before the photo, and I found myself in the familiar position of looking for the right illustration for the tone of the (almost) stream-of-consciousness story. I found two. ;=)
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