Sep 23, 2008

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly... A boy stirs from his sleep, a deep slumber, that only a child experiences. Grownups awake with a start, at a sound in the night, but a child rouses slowly and with much prodding. The cares of the world have not yet set him on edge, as they inevitably will. He hears crying, and more than crying, the wailing of someone who is wounded. He recognizes the voice of his mother, sobbing punctuated by screaming. The boy, still trying to shake off his cloud of sleep, wanders into the hall, following the sound of his mother's voice. He is confused and fright begins to creep in, the peaceful sleep makes way. At the top of the stairs, he sees strangers at the landing. No, not strangers, neighbors. Why are they in his living room? "I want my children!", he hears his mother scream. He shuffles down the stairs, the cusp of his pajama bottoms swoosh on the steps. A neighbor tells him to go back to bed, but he doesn't. His mother calls to him and he pushes by and goes to her side. She is laying on the couch, her head wrapped in bloody towels and the boy begins to cry and then to sob uncontrollably. His mother reaches out and pulls him to her. Someone, his father, is holding her head. "Mama, what's wrong?" "She fell down the basement stairs", he hears someone say. The ambulance men push into the living room and sweep his mother away into the night. The boy begs to go with her. His father tells him to take care of the other kids until he comes back. Whatelse can he say? The neighbors drift away and someone puts him back into his bed, where he sleeps the sleep that only a child can. When I was about ten my mom fell down the basement steps and struck her head on the wall at the bottom. She fractured her skull and had a blood clot on the brain. She was hospitalized for a couple of weeks and it was touch and go for a few days. I heard the neighbor telling her husband that my mom was going to die. My dad said it wasn't true, but he was an unconvincing liar, even when lying to a ten-year-old. Fortunately, she recovered. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Steve said...

Yikes! What a scary episode for a kid! I'm glad she recovered, obviously. (I was afraid from the way this post began that something criminal, rather than accidental, was going on...)

tut-tut said...

I think you have lots of stories to tell and you should tell them.

Nan Patience said...

I just finished Monkeys by Susan Minot. You might like it.

Kurt said...

Given my track record, it is only a matter of time before I fall down the basement steps.

Megan said...

Yikes is right!

Adrianne said...

What a scary thing for a ten year old to go through! I'm so glad that your ma recovered - it sounds as if you relied on her for a lot. Thank you for sharing such a painful story.

I fell down my basement stairs once -- I tripped at the very top while carrying a laundry basket and tumbled all the way down. I had a bruised hip for months and my elbow didn't work properly for a long time. I didn't ever complain about those injuries, though, because I knew that it could have been a lot worse. I just felt so lucky to be alive and able to move when I finally stopped falling. It is amazing how much potential peril lurks in something so seemingly harmless as a flight of stairs.

Anonymous said...

Kurt is funny.

When I was 8, my mother was almost killed by the doctors in a hospital--you know, going in for some simple "procedure" and ending up near death? I wasn't told, but as always was shipped off to live with some aunt. My mother took 3 months to get over that simple procedure, and when I saw her again she was like a skeleton and very much in a daze. Later I discovered she'd gotten blood poisoning at the hospital, a term they don't use anymore--very scary.

Reya Mellicker said...

How do you ever get over something like that?

bitchlet said...

I agree with Ched. You should write a book.