|New York City, 1997|
to Christy, in Maine
When Sophie was a baby, I actually used to count her seizures. I had a plain, spiral notebook -- a small one -- where I'd mark the seizures, tally them. I'd look for patterns, an ebb and flow. Moons waxed and waned, as did the tides, Sophie's bones grew, her baby teeth fell out and her adult teeth grew in. The weather was muggy, it snowed and the Santa Anas blew. She got sick and got well. She met developmental milestones and reached plateaus. She went into crowds agitated and sat alone ignored. She ate strawberries and avoided dairy. She was doped up on drugs and she was weaned. Moons waxed and waned, as did the tides. The earth rotated round the sun, placid, most years, there were sun flares and it was jolted off its axis in March, 2011.
I continued to tally the seizures one two three four and a slash for the fifth. I had notebooks and notebooks of these, a twisted version of the college blue book. I was earnest and hopeful.
I ranted twice yesterday on the blog, came home from a baseball game and heard from the babysitter that Sophie had a lot of seizures, many of them. It seems, sometimes, that Sophie always has a lot of seizures, so many seizures that there's no point in making marks, in filling notebooks, in noting them at all. I stopped filling notebooks years ago. They stand proudly in some cabinet, a record of diligence. I was earnest and hopeful.
I had the thought that I should, rather, track my anger and look for patterns. Many seizures: much anger. Anger displaced. I don't give a damn about Obamacare. I don't give a damn about arguing with conservatives about their stupid notions of guns and liberty. I don't give a damn about conservatives. I don't give a damn that the disabled don't have basic civil rights. I don't give a damn about baseball or gray skies or red roses. Five ten fifteen twenty scratches on a clean white page. I don't give a damn.
I would rather drink bourbon with my friend in Maine, perhaps kiss her on the lips and taste it.
Last night, I sat on Sophie's bed and lay my hand on her head. I closed my eyes and breathed in one two three and out the same. I asked for mercy. Tell me what to do next, I asked, before I got up. Take my anger. Make your own tally.