It’s Time to Throw Down

It occurs to me that in doing all the research for the book project, I’m going to have to have wicked stealth (good God, my sister-in-law is getting in my head. Like a certain other native of Massachusetts I know (I’m looking at you Lisa Dingle) my SIL hails from the state that postures itself the “Spirit of America.” At least, that’s what’s on the license plate. I don’t know. With the limited knowledge I have of Boston (mostly Sue Costello and Good Will Hunting) I like the state motto more: “this hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty.” Now that is wicked retahded pissah (It’s easy once you get into it).


Anyway, I was out walking Corporal Seamus the other day and I saw this moving truck with this slogan on the side:

Mad Ninja Skills


And it occurred to me that that is precisely what I’m going to have to bring to the process of sifting through the stuff on the jump drive Moms gave me. It’s full of daily correspondence, email reports, and multiple drafts of accounts of my time in the hospital. And to sift through all that stuff without breaking down into tears or laughing hysterically, I’m going to have to have mad ninja skills to maneuver through it all without getting bogged down in it. I think the most enjoyable stuff so far has been reading about where my mind went when I was trying to “think around” the blockages in my vocabulary. Like the time I called the physical therapist the “rehab Nazi.” There’s also instances of my family and friends talking to me and, unable to find any words at all for what I wanted to say, I broke down in tears. Then there was the time my brother asked me how I was after a walk up and down the hall (a particularly difficult task after being in bed for a week) and I replied “I’m peachy!”


Then there’s the really heart-breaking stuff. For instance, Mom’s description of when they had to cover my bed with an impassable (at least to me at the time) veil over it and me writhing in pain as the meningitis played dominoes on my brain.


That’s the kind of stuff I mean. So through the course of constructing a narrative of these early events in the context of the book, I’m going to need to duck and jive and stick and move my way through all this stuff to put it into some sort of cohesive order. It’s also going to require several sit-downs with Moms to tap into the stuff she remembers about that time and also what going through the stuff we already have conjures up in other memories. This is still in the very formative stages, so it’s very likely any outline I’ve already drawn up will change over time. Then there’s Him and what role He is going to play in all of this. Like a crazed lemur I am going to have to shimmy my way in an out of His persona and back into a narrator to keep everything in some sort of congealed mass the reader A) Can follow and B) wants to follow.


In the end, I don’t know how salable any book that emerges from this proverbial primordial ooze will be. But that’s really not the point in doing it. At this point, I think the process is going to open a big honkin’ window into my soul and hopefully, I’ll know better what I am supposed to do with this whole experience once the book is complete. At least, that’s what I hope. Someone said to me recently that, for now at least, I survived this 9 year-long ordeal for a reason. When the book is done, I hope to have a clearer idea what that reason is.

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