Sat 19 May, 2012 08:39 pm
I wrote this short story/autobiography several years ago. Thought i would share it here. Let me know what you think...
I was wearing a blue gown. I didn’t quite know what to expect. I looked back and saw my mom quietly falling down into tears; my dad by her side watching me; my sisters both in front of my parents waving goodbye; I stopped. I stopped and watched them. I didn’t know when I would see them back if I was ever to see them again. I looked at them for a couple of minutes and then started walking. I kept following the lady until I was brought into this room with several other men and women. She made me climb on the bed. I was scared. I was being blinded by the light in front of my eyes. I heard the nurse tell me that the surgery will go fine. Everything turned black.
I remember seeing him standing there all alone looking at me. He was looking straight into my eyes, I was doing the same. He was standing on the other side of the river; I was sitting on the grass on my side. I thought he was trying to say something but I wasn’t sure what. I tried reading his lips hoping to make sense of what he said. The more I tried, the more I failed to do so. It seemed like he wanted to say something but couldn’t.
A month later, midway through July of 2000, after having had to stay in the hospital for a whole month, I was finally cleared and allowed to come back home. I hadn’t seen my room in quite a while now and was more then overwhelmed. I was still unaware of why I had to have a surgery and no one seemed to want to tell me. I was 10 years old at this time. Though I was seen as still being young, I wanted to know what was wrong with me.
This was one of several surgeries I had to go through, all of which regarded the same problem which i supposedly had. After the second surgery which was done for the purpose of a biopsy, I was told that I have a lymphatic system deficiency. My problem had no cures…yet, so I was put on medications. They were mostly vitamins since my body was found to be in vitamin deficiency. I had to take pills every morning whilst being in high school.
School days were hectic. Already was I the “Odd-man out” but now people had found something to tell me about to make me feel worse. I didn’t know what to think about whatever it was that I had, so I avoided any conversation about it. Those days when I was supposed to be quite active, I found myself sitting on a couch most of the time. I felt considerably weaker now that I knew what I had, whatever it was. I used to hear all my friends playing in the alley behind my house. I used to hear them scream and shout and have a good time from dawn till dusk in those days when school was in break for the summer. I could hear the dog bark and my friends scream. Every night when I went to sleep, I prayed to get better soon…and closed my eyes.
That person was still standing on the other side of the river; I was sitting on the grass on my side. He still hadn’t talked at all though I am sure he wanted to say something. I felt like wanting to have an answer even if he hadn’t asked any question. Maybe he wanted to answer me and was waiting for me to ask him, but I did not know what. I should have asked him something and let him answer me; I could have asked him something and let him answer me; I would have asked him something and let him answer me; but I didn’t. I couldn’t because I was deaf.
As my third year of high school started, I had gotten used to the names I was referred to as. They didn’t bother me as much as they used to when my wound was still fresh. By now I was told what my illness was. I had Inter abdominal Lymphangiectasia. An illness caused by the malfunction of my Lymph nodes. My body didn’t absorb the fat I ate as well as it should have. There is no cure to it except proper nutrition. This illness is not very common in human and more present in dogs. I guess I was one of those lucky ones who had it! As far as I knew, I didn’t know of anyone else with an illness similar to mine. Sure I was lucky, but I didn’t want to be. I wanted to be just like the others. I would look into the mirror and the only thing that came to my mind was “Why me?”. Why not the man who lived next door? Why not the person who was born seconds before me in the neighboring hospital room? Why not my friends dog? Why me? These questions and thoughts would haunt me since I didn’t know how to or what to answer them. I would look into the mirror and ask myself when I would talk about it to someone. I would look into the mirror and think I was deaf; I would not be able to talk about it. I would look into the mirror and wonder who I really was, who did I really want to be. I would look into the mirror and close my eyes.
I had been looking at this man standing on the other side of the river and I had still not figured who he was. I thought I would go closer to him so to reveal his identity. The closer I went, the more blurry his face became until I couldn’t go any closer because the water was blocking me and at which point, his face was completely unrecognizable. I couldn’t differentiate his eyes from his mouth, his ears from his nose, and his arms from his legs. I was scared. I didn’t know what he looked like but something inside me made me feel like I had to be him. His blurry face seemed as if I could shape it in the way I liked. As if I could make him as anyone I would want to be other then myself and then be him; be some one else.
As my high school years neared end, I found myself involved into a lot of school activities. I was in my high school’s music orchestra where I played the Clarinet. I participated in a few competitions one of which was an open Mathematics competition. I was also in a chemistry competition and a physics competition. By this time, I realized I wasn’t that much different from the people I was around. That year, I won the “Prix Extra” given to about two dozen students around the province of Quebec every year. By the time I had won this prize, I started to think again that I was different then the others, only, this time, I felt as if I was better.
Most of the people I hanged out with in high school knew about my illness. As I finished my five years of high school, I was already looking forward to go to college. Mainly because I knew once in college, I could start a new life. A life where most of the people I met didn’t know about my illness. This way, I thought, I could show myself to others in the way I felt comfortable with. I could show myself as a “normal” person, someone I wasn’t.
As much as I hoped to change, I couldn’t. As much as I wanted to be like everyone around me, I couldn’t. I couldn’t lie to myself. I couldn’t lie to myself, so, I accepted myself as I was: abnormal. I still tried hard to hide myself from others, but it seemed like the more I tried to hide, the more obvious it was. The more I tried to hide myself, the less it would work. So I closed my eyes and stopped trying.
As I started to step away from the man standing on the other side of the river, I noticed he was moving away from me too but faster. I moved to the right, he moved to the right faster. I moved to the left, he moved to the left faster. He was doing what I was doing, only, faster. I saw a rock on the ground. I picked it, he picked. At this point, I felt some sort of anger towards that man. As if I didn’t want to be him anymore. As if I didn’t want to change. As if I was fine as I was. My disgust towards that man grew rapidly and as that anger reached its maximum, I threw the rock as fast as I could towards the man I still didn’t know who he was. He threw a rock towards me as well, only, faster. Fearful that his rock would hit me before mine reached him, I closed my eyes.
As I open my eyes every morning, I wonder who I really am. Why am I here? What is life? Do I really want to live a life that I would always be running away from? These questions come to me even today. Every morning, I try to answer them. I tell to myself that living is better then dying. That living as a slave is better then being the king of the dead. Life, needless to say, is priceless. Sometimes, these answers don’t satisfy me. The more I try to hide myself, from who I am, by giving “fancy” answers to myself, the less comfortable I feel. So I keep on looking for more answers. As I desperately try to find an answer to these questions, I look into the mirror and the only thing that cames to my mind is “Why me?”. Why not the man who lived next door? Why not the person who was born seconds before me in the neighboring hospital room? Why not my friends dog? Why me?
Note: The part with the 2 people and the river between them is a recurring dream that I have had.
I'm wondering if this boy who saw himself grown up, and is now grown up, still relates to his story.....
I hope not, because life is beautiful. We mostly, all have something wrong with us, some difficulty to fight. And, it's the fighter in us that makes us..
I felt sad reading that, I wanted a good ending.. I hope that you can continue that story with a good ending