|Sophie on West End, NYC, 1997|
As a writer, I squirm with words. Sophie woke up. Her father made her breakfast. She wouldn't close her mouth over her cup. Strawberries sat in her mouth, a clump of scrambled eggs, swallowed whole. Here, we said to her. Come on. She jerked her right arm and hand, sharply. Over and over, it wasn't so much a seizure as a perseverance, a movement that we interrupt with Sophie! Stop! Sharply, too. She stopped and then started again. The exchange of wondering between us, twenty years old. What is it? Is it neurological? It'll pass. Let's just wait. I mentioned the ambulatory EEG ordered for her yesterday. When the doctor mentioned it, just to see, I nodded and agreed. I don't really care, though. About seeing. There's usually nothing to see and no remedy for the seen. I watched a strawberry fall from her mouth, thick with drool down her bib. I left the kitchen, left her to The Husband.
As a writer, I squirm with words. I squirm to convey this -- what is it? -- feeling not quite despair and not quite hopelessness. I took a crying shower, my forehead on the tile, imagined it worn, scooped out like a Roman step, trod on, trod on. I am at once mindful of the moment as moment, this too shall pass, yet isn't that a tail behind me made up of moments, stretching behind me, blue and green scales?