November 25, 2016 (Friday)

by Yule Heibel on November 24, 2017

The thing to remember, when it comes to the incident of the rusty nail, is that I had no words for blacking out or losing consciousness. Yet that is of course what happened, otherwise I’d have a narrative – a consciousness – of that strip of time between when I suddenly felt very afraid in the partial clearing of shrubs to when I was standing outside the front of my house and could see my mother, backlit in the doorway, cigarette in hand, asking where I’d been, that they had called and called for me, and grabbing me to lift me up and inside the house – at which point she noticed that my tights were soaked in blood. No damage to the tights. He must have covered me up again after he did it, after I lost consciousness and lay there, inert. I had “gone away” in my mind, as so many children do. Covered me up again, pulled my tights up, as I continued to bleed, so that by the time I reached the front door, I – my tights – was – were – bloodied from crotch to knee. It had begun to dry on me, so I must have been out there for a while. I know it had begun to dry because I remember being sat in a warm bath and watching the water work on the blood on my legs, finally swirling and blending into the larger pool of clean water which filled the tub. It still amazes me that they thought – grabbed at the idea – a comforting “explanation”? – that I had sat on a nail. The pull-on pants or tights I wore were undamaged. Sat on a nail. Let that sink in as the blood on my skin swirls into the bathtub water. I’m not sure why I’m thinking about this (again!) this morning, except that it is the case that I wish I could remember On the other hand, they say, “be careful what you wish for”…

Today, this morning, it’s very overcast, gray and dreary. It’s drizzling, too. Raining. Although the weather is so diffused into the lower atmosphere, it’s hard to tell the difference between general drizzle and particular rain. I can see drops hitting the puddles which have begun to form, though, so I suppose rain it is. I just realized that I’ve never thought of or written anything about “him” before. It’s always been a more general “this is what I remember / this is what happened to me” kind of retrieval. Never a particular speculation about a particular individual and what he, in particular, may have done. It’s not bringing me any closer to recall / remembrance, but it does make it seem more dangerous to think, “He must have covered me up again after he did it.” I have often wondered how my tights / pull-on pants were in position (i.e., worn), yet undamaged, no tear at the point where I allegedly sat on a nail. I suppose that, comically, I was supposed to imagine it, after having the idea introduced by the adults around me, that I went to sit down, but before the full weight of my little body settled on the log / piece of wood (never found) with the alleged jutting-out-nail, it felt a sting, insect-like, and promptly bobbed up, saving its pants from further damage, even as it (my body) was pierced to the point of copious bleeding and made to feel pain intense enough to cause it to black out. Sort of like Sleeping Beauty and the spindle. A fairy tale. But Grimm.

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