“There is a shipwreck between your ribs. You are a box with fragile written on it, and so many people have not handled you with care.”
- – what it took to understand, shinji moon
a Wheel Trans driver asks me skeptically, “Is this ride really for you?”
i say, “yes, it’s really for me.”
a woman at the bus stop asks me, “did you get in an accident?”
i say, “no, i didn’t.”
she says, “are you sure?”
a Wheel Trans driver asks me what happened.
“nothing,” i say.
he says, “oh, so you’re ok then?”
i want to say, you just picked me up from the rehab hospital and loaded my walker into your trunk, so what do you think?
but all say is, “sure.”
a stranger motions for me to pull my out my earbuds so he can ask me, “what’s wrong with you?”
i say, “that’s none of your fucking business.”
i rent a manual wheelchair for an event. the delivery person says incredulously, “wait, this wheelchair is for you?”
i say, “who else would it be for?”
a Wheel Trans driver asks me, “is this ride for you or someone else?”
a Wheel Trans driver asks me, “where is your mother, isn’t this ride for her?”
i say, “my mother doesn’t even live in this province, the ride is for me.”
a woman on the subway tells me she’d kill herself if she were in my situation.
a man corners me in an elevator so i can’t escape his invasive questions.
a woman at the local dispensary says, “aww, you poor thing.”
a Wheel Trans driver says, “but you’re going to get better right?”
i say, “no, that’s not how this works.”
he says, “you’re not even going to get a little bit better?”
i say, “i don’t feel comfortable talking about this anymore.”
i cannot squeeze the tube of toothpaste.
i woke up with catcher’s mitts for hands. i cannot seem to make anything that even remotely resembles a fist out of my sausage fingers. frustrated, i balance the tube on the edge of the sink, pinching the flaccid end between the bowl and my hipbone. i push against the bulk of it with the side of my hand and too much squirts out, mucking up the cap and the side of the sink. i run my toothbrush through the mess, suddenly grateful i’ve switched to electric.
when i try to put it away it drops into the sink instead. when i finally wrestle it back onto its base, i knock the whole thing over with the side of my hand. my toothbrush is back in the sink, the side of it smeared with the toothpaste mess from earlier. the base dangles in mid-air from the electrical cord that’s still plugged into the wall.
poor proprioception: 0
grip strength? negligible.
i have been awake for less than 10 minutes.
maybe i should have just used mouthwash, i think. or maybe not, as i can easily imagine what my bathroom floor would look like drenched in purple listerine.
i am losing my hair. it snaps, breaks, comes out at the root. i am all split ends. it comes out in handfuls in the shower. i feel nauseous. the bottoms of my socks are covered hair.
the insides of my lower eyelids are white. my gums are white, and they bleed. my face is white. i am translucent, i am a ghost, i am disappearing.
i take out the trash and suddenly i can’t catch my breath. every inhale feels raw. my lungs hurt, my heart is hammering in my chest. pulsatile tinnitus in my ears, whooshing, whooshing.
i’m a car with no fuel in the engine. i’m a vampire. the doctor tells me, “you were right”.