Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I used to like math. Then I slipped on a wet restroom floor and hit my head on a urinal trough. After that, I stopped liking math. I wanted to draw and write stories. I don't have any of those stories, but I do have this:

My favorite toy for a while was a plastic mouse. I made a house for her out of a shoe box. My mother taught me how to whip stitch. I made a skirt for the plastic mouse. I preferred the toys I had to alter. I once begged my father to smuggle a naked Barbie over from my grandmother's house so I'd have a model for a superhero costume I was making out of felt squares. I have always been obsessive. It was important I have that Barbie. While I was writing my book, it seemed important I smoke, but I didn't want to become a smoker. I bought a hollow plastic cigarette. It sat beside me in an ash tray. I never picked it up.

My brain has been inconsistent trouble. Epilepsy runs in my family. It runs across generations. My first seizure came the morning after Christmas when I was 10. My family couldn't wake me. A doctor was adamant it wasn't epilepsy. He thought I'd had an extreme nightmare. My parents weren't convinced. I was more than willing to accept the less severe diagnosis. I did have extreme nightmares. One involved a hairy monster tying me to a chair and tickling me until I died. As I got older, the hairy monster became a man. Obviously.

For the rest of the year after that first seizure, I was allowed to set my own pace in school. The pace I set was I did the homework in my head, but I never wrote it down.

I had my next seizure when I was 18. I'd been sewing the denim from old jeans into a small bag. Into a purse, yes. Someone gave me grief about it, and I maintained that Chewbacca carried a small bag. He never took anything out of it. It was just a piece of fashion. I was wearing the bag when I crouched down to put the sewing machine back in the closet. I felt tired, so I went to sleep. "Sleep" was a seizure. I woke up, and the EMTs were trying to remove the bag. I remember someone suggesting it contained drugs. It did not.

It's been a few years since my last seizure, which involved me waking up on the hardwood. Josh was sitting on the edge of the bed. He said, "Can you imagine how terrifying it was to come home and find you lying unconscious on the floor?"

It turns out I'm the lucky one in these situations. I black out. I go somewhere else. When I get back, everyone is scared.

There's a paper in Kansas City called The Pitch. They have a crush on me. We have seen each other from a distance. Everyone looks good from far away.