Frozen in that bed
January 12, 2013
The main character in Reality Strikes Back is based partially on a school friend. He was an intelligent fellow but there was something odd about him. Sometimes he would forget why he was doing something. Not uncommon in later life. But he was a teenager. And he looked like a famous racing car driver. Nothing odd about that. I don’t for the life of me know why I mentioned that. He was like that. Random thoughts popping up in conversation.
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I sat on the bed after Ann and Claude had left thinking about when I was a child. I would climb the steps to my room late at night and I would pause, having forgotten momentarily why I was on the staircase. My mother would awake, one eye open, laying in her bed, and wait for me to discover why I had begun to climb the stairs. Only when I had continued my journey could she fall back asleep. That’s how I remembered my mother. A solitary moment. One image in an album of images. There is no relationship between the images, no cause and effect, no chronology in my memory. All the images of my life were like a deck of cards, shuffled, appearing by chance. There is no sense of the past, no movement, no flow, no highway leading to my present state, passing me by, and disappearing into the distant future. My memories were free floating, without gravity or God, existing by themselves like planets drifting through space or children asleep in an orphanage. There is a postcard of Niagara Falls, stilled by the power of the camera, and there is a man in a barrel, going over the falls. The man is the moment, the falls are eternal. I seem only aware of the water going over the falls. I cannot find the man and I don’t understand the concept of the falls. I remember my mother, frozen in that bed, frozen in that moment of anticipation, waiting for me to decide. I remember nothing else about her. My mother in a bed waiting. A bed in a dark room. Water over the falls. And a man stuck in a wheel barrel.