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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday Writing Sample

Run Over

In the years that passed later, I always imagined what it was like to get run over repeatedly by a car. Each car bringing you that much closer to death. Still alive enough to feel each thump as it drove you ever closer to death.
At some point I could actually feel that pain. I could only ever really imagine it, but I could feel it nonetheless. A few years later I had wished that she had actually died that night. That one of those cars had finished her off. Life would have been so much better if she had died out there on that dark Montreal street that night. But it wasn't to be. She cheated death for a reason. Her pain was to be transferred to me, us,  as the years passed. In many ways she didn't die that night, but my mother did.

The city street is dark at night. The hustle and bustle that is the daytime is long gone. What seems so crowded during the day is vast and sparse at night. You notice things that you miss in the crowded daylight that you see at night. Parked cars everywhere. Lights reflecting off of windows. Storefronts and red lights. Neon signs. The night time brings a clarity that the busy day smothers away. Darkness brings clear vision that light obstructs.
In spite of all that, as she was getting run over repeatedly (according to the doctor, possibly 20 times or more) no one noticed. If they did notice, they did nothing about it. By the time they found her she was near death. So many broken bones in her body that even living through that trauma might be the bigger punishment. But live she died.  She lived to fight another day.  And fight she did. With anybody and everybody. She changed that night. She went from flamboyant to bitter.

The car was very dark and I was tired. I had no idea why we were traveling this late at night. The grown ups were talking in the front seat as I lay half awake. Street lights flashing one by one as we passed them. It is an interesting view when you are lying almost flat on the back seat looking up. It was way past my bedtime. There had to be a reason why we were doing this. I heard something about my Aunt, but I had no idea what was going on.
My father parked the car. He backed in. He always backed in, even this late at night. He always did that. I wasn't that old, only 8, but I knew enough to know we were at the hospital. I didn't know what that really meant, or why we were here.
The only time I had ever been to a hospital before was to have my tonsils out. That was fun. I got vanilla ice cream every day. My Aunt came to visit me that time. She was my favorite Aunt to that point. She took me everywhere and showed me stuff that others didn't. She was my cool Aunt. I was 8. I didn't know any better. I had no idea she was a deviant and a scheming bitch. I only found that out years later.

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