I’d climbed the cherry laurel, reached for the rope tied on a topmost branch and swung across from branch to branch, a feat I’d managed many times. But this time I fell to earth.
My wrist was broken, a bad break, the kind that made a mother turn her head away, grab a dish towel, call the father who came home,rushed me to the hospital, delivered me to the ER, where I was placed on a gurney and wheeled into a white room lit by giant metal bright lights. The light as bird, stick-thin eleven-year-old tomboy that was me, the center of this universe.
Told to count to ten, I gasped through the sweet smell of the ether, an undertow, which swept me into weightless dreams filled with puzzles, the pieces coalescing as if a kaleidoscope, my mind asleep more awake than ever, watching the display of a vivid jumble, a brain tornado where I, the I no longer tied completely to the me, was whiplashed through the chaos of a mind untethered.
The drug—later the doctor called it the “truth serum”, and that it was, giving me a revelatory trip inside my mind— a mine!—a place of exploration where I and me wandered through the thoughts which before as in BEFORE there was a me, were hidden like fishes in the coral reefs of the cerebellum, through the corpus callosum; but now as in NOW and THEN and ALWAYS at ONCE I and me swam between the hemispheres, left and right, a true meeting of the minds, a wind rushing through the open windows, telling me the secrets of the universe--which I've forgotten, mostly but not completely--I remember the weightlessness of logic life.
The doctor laughed as he walked beside the stretcher after it was over. I know your secrets, he said, and looked just like a Cheshire Cat. But it was never over and he didn't know my secrets and he shouldn't have said such a thing to a young girl but I remember, I remember, I remember always what he said--I know all your secrets, with his man hand on my shoulder and with those words the worm he planted in my mind ,that before as in BEFORE this day of broken in two, I didn't know you could be known against your will. This was the truth, the bitter truth of falling back to earth.