She says she studied at Yale, but it’s so hard to believe her when I remember it so vividly.
I met Kodi just a few months back. She was sitting in a café with a copy of Lord of the Rings on her table – or was that me? I was wearing a bright purple sweater and I approached her and took the book of the table while I made a joke about never having heard about it. I’m not really sure if it was a joke. And I’m not really sure if it was me or her that said it.
“Tolkien, what a strange name.”
It’s confusing, this amalgam in my head. There’s somewhere a dent in the conversation.
A quick glance under the desk. Throw the wardrobe open. Push clothes aside to make sure there is no one inside. Close the wardrobe. Step into the middle of the room. Breathe. Quickly bend and kneel forward, your hands on the ground, ready to push you back up as fast as possible. Check under the bed.
No one there. As every night.
Get back up. Walk towards the light switch. Look around the room another time, the eyes resting for a few seconds on each window. Second floor, but who knows what can climb that high?
Nothing suspicious. Mentally pace the room – two steps, then the jump.
Flip the switch. Large step with the right, large step with the left, then a quick jump to escape any possible hands.
Climb under the covers. Cocoon yourself. Try to sleep. Try not to have nightmares. Continue reading →
The sweet smell of chocolate, one of the warm and soft cookies melting on my tongue. My grandmother smiled, then turned back towards the sink to clean the tray.
The orange sun rained warmth on us. With my fingers still sticky I sneaked up to her side, grabbed a cookie from the white plate and quickly ran back to my chair.
“Hey,” she said. Then she laughed.
I reclined on my chair with both hands on the cookie. The backrest knocked against the only wood-paneled kitchen wall. A dull, hollow sound. Then my chair slipped.
During those two weeks in the hospital the orange sun and sweet chocolate air filled my head. That might be why this moment still lives so vividly in my wind. Whenever I remember that moment I can place my hand back into the scene; the coldness of the wooden chair and the warmth of the sunrays on my skin. It is the last memory in which I can still see my grandmother with brown hair. The movie that lives in my head just lacks the end; the fall. The best of hundreds of memories in that kitchen. Continue reading →
On Tuesday morning, around 10AM, I heard the first glimpse of eternity. It was my second holiday day. I was standing between cereals and pickle jars and somewhere above me a voice tried to convince me to buy slabs of steak that I had seen and that looked unhealthily red. When I saw those steaks a sick cramp formed in my stomach. Humanity has degenerated to the point that meat must be pumped with salt and chemicals to look red as we have grown so accustomed to colored food that we don’t even know anymore that flesh, after being drained of blood, is gray.
I picked a pack of sugared cereal off the shelf and it began. There was no warning. Just one voice stinging through the normal bustle of the shop. It sounded like a young screaming child that quickly ran towards me. I looked around to see the child until I heard it right in front of me but still could see nothing. Then, one after the other, more voices joined in, a choir of pained screams that grew in number and loudness by the second.
My forehead was slammed repeatedly against cold linoleum until one of the clerks did the last nice thing anybody will ever do for me. She pushed a pack of marshmallows between my head and the floor. I slammed my head into the pack rather than the floor. My hands were still pressed on my ears and I kept screaming for the voices to stop. Continue reading →
The fever hit me without a warning. I got up in the morning, had breakfast and went to the flea market. After a good look at a lot of old junk – books, games, old computers and even a massage chair that was so uncomfortable that actually hurt rather than massaged my neck – I bought nothing except two old recipe books. I bought cake from a cheerful young man at a small stall.
I was on the bus, with the books in a cotton bag on the seat to my left, when I noticed sweat dripping from my forehead.
By the time the recorded voice read the name of my stop the world was behind a thin white veil. I felt my heavy head, the cold Buddha necklace dangling against my chest and the shaking bus. Barely able to hold my balance I got off my seat. My hand tried to grab the cotton bag but missed it two or three times. The bus doors were already closing and reopened when I banged my head against them. The bus driver called something in my direction that I didn’t understand.
I don’t remember walking home. All I remember is how heavy my feet felt and that with every passing moment the world became more blurry. Continue reading →
That’s all. That’s my life and my history. Of course my family and friends and particularly Kennedy told me about my past and the cause of my memory loss – the seizures – but all that doesn’t feel like more than a biography I read in a book.
Born here, went to school there, seizures started in grade 6, still managed to finish school, still managed to start a math degree, still managed to raise funds for the worse-off, still managed to get a warm-hearted and beautiful girl to love me.
Kennedy with her stunning dark brown hair. She was the only one that was there when I had my last seizure. We were in a hotel room in Vegas and I was just on my way to the bathroom when my legs began to shake. I fell. My head hit the chair. Continue reading →