Light, seen blurry at a distance, like rising from the depths, coalesces into wise eyes. Wrinkles frame them, leading deep down to the handle bar mustache, twisted into a curl. A firm hand presses into my chest with authority and comfort, my mind tracing memories unknown, how did I get here?
Rough stitched material pricks at my skin as sensation returns and sleep drains from my limbs. Vision expands beyond the face to take in the crowd looking at me, an unspoken truth sits heavy among them. Nervous energy in fidgeting fingers, wringing together against their bosoms, whispering silent prayers.
Soft light emanates from the curtain of the shade wrapping the top of the cool bronze lamps, in contrast to the darkness in the window beyond. Questions wrap themselves into a conundrum, my drowsy mind struggling to rise out of the fog. Where did my bed go? Why are these people here?
Seizures. I had them, but never knew them. They haunted my young sleep, terrorizing my family, leaving me waking surrounded by crowds in the early dawns of adolescence. Something was just not firing right amid the neurons, so they say. Something else to set me apart, the glue from the electrodes they attached to my head clinging in its clumps no matter how hard you scrubbed. Then one day they were gone.
I have not thought about those early morning episodes in a long time and then I came face to face with another little boy this week, who had them and the same heavy baggage of questions that come with them. Why am I like this? It makes you feel so alone. As a kid, it can be tough, allowing our frailties to define us as weird...different...especially when others discover your uniqueness.
It becomes easy to forget just how beautiful and special you really are...and you are beautiful. Created to be the one and only you.