Episode

Let me explain.

I am an epileptic. That is a medical condition that causes seizures. You can look at my medical records if you don’t understand.

redpill2Medication? Yes, I know I’m supposed to take pills, but they makes me feel like a drooling idiot. For a writer, that’s not good. So I try to get by without it. I don’t have grand mal seizures, just the petit kind, where I just sort of zone out for a few minutes.

Usually I can tell when I’m about to have one. There’s a smell – sort of like almonds – that precedes it. It’s like the feeling you get when you’re on a roller coaster, climbing up, up. When I start to go over the top, the downward rush is terrifying, but welcome.

I’ve had this condition since I was six. They keep sending me to different doctors, but I have to say that they’re all incompetent. None of them can explain why I find myself somewhere else after a seizure. They run brain scans, looking for damage. They whisper to my mother about delusions and hallucinations. They’re idiots.

The best way I can explain it is this: you’re watching television, and decide the program is boring, so you change the channel to see what else is on. You find something more interesting, and begin watching. But the program you were watching on the other channel is still going on, as well as hundreds of other programs on all the stations being beamed into your home by satellites or racing through fiber-optic cables into the back of your television set. When I come out of a seizure, I’m on a different channel. It may be the same program, but it’s a different episode.

Schizophrenics think like this, you’re saying to yourself. But schizophrenics don’t have seizures, and their delusions remain fixed. They don’t change channels.

When I was in first grade, I didn’t have many friends. I remember telling my mother about a boy I met at school one day. His name was Danny. He had invited me over to his house, and I wanted to know if it was all right. Because of my seizures, my mother was very protective of me. She said she’d like to talk with the boy’s mother, so we arranged for them to meet the following day after school.

The next day at school, I had a seizure during reading circle. I remember we were reading a stupid book about an even stupider cat. I could already read fluently by then, and hated listening to other children stumble over “girl” and “happy.” In the middle of All the other cats laughed at her… I felt myself going. When I woke up, my mother was there to take me home. As she helped me put on my jacket, I asked, “Where’s Danny?”

You know what happened. There was no Danny, never had been a Danny. And the book was about an acorn that wanted to be a tree, not a cat that wanted to go to school.

That’s why I have learned to be such an accomplished liar, so people won’t think I’m crazy.

But I have no reason to lie to you. You’re not a real doctor; you’re just a shrink. Don’t worry if you can’t figure out what’s causing this. I already know. I’ve been pushing my pills into a crack in the floor under my bed. In a little while, I’ll be gone. I can already feel it coming.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liz
    Mar 04, 2010 @ 14:38:15

    Do any of these instances inspire you for your writing?

    Reply

    • escher dax
      Mar 05, 2010 @ 10:57:43

      The fatalist in me says that everything is meaningless, that what happens is random. Genetics is just a dice roll. Tragedy is just tragedy.
      The romantic in me wants to believe that everything has significance. I guess that’s what makes me write — the need to find meaning, to see bad luck as part of some grand plan that will make me a better person.
      If you can call that inspiration — yes.

      Reply

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