As I was sitting on the couch stirring my strange dessert and sipping Koolaid, my brain commenced attacking me. I watched on with interest, staving off the pain with my sugar-coated spoon.
My brain decided that I was the only person in the whole world who could feel so down as to need (need) a bowl of Nutella-covered-frosties; the only student to ever dread a paper; the only international person feeling the tinge of homesick; the only lesbian a bit tired of the heteronormative scene; the only single person doomed enough to face a friend circle filled with couples; the only writer to ever fear the evaluation of her readers; the only hippie displeased with the idea of a promotion-hungry career-ladder in a money-hungry world made up of fat, skinny-fat and starving people; the only young person wondering just what on earth would happen in thons little blip of a life in this universe; the only mind-being concerned with the fact that her mind wouldn't end a freaking sentence.
I heard Carole-my-minister in my head. "Alright, we'll have a pity party for a little while."
I heard meryl_edan with her 'some people have it worse than you' technique: "Some people don't have the chance to complain over a bowl of pure sugar in a heated house."
I heard ddagent with the most terrifying thought of all: "You're eating Nutella. Some people don't even have TOAST!"
I heard kellychambliss with her words of wisdom on deadlines: "You should be writing Harry Potter fanfiction. It is right before the deadline and you know that if you are not utilising the time before a deadline, your time is slipping through your fingers. Let the women in hats, the women on broomsticks, the women with wands guide you away for another day..."
I looked down at my legs, the upper portions clad in shiny Dr. Seuss boxers (one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish...). I noticed the faint white line of a scar, appearing almost as a glimmer on the expanse of light tan. I carefully inspected it, following the line with my finger and investigating where I had full feeling or where I could feel only the echo of touch, like there was layers of water between my skin and my nerves.
I heard a saner portion of my brain: "You know, your mother thinks you're gorgeous."
A harsh voice retorted, "Well *I* don't see it."
I let them argue off to the side as I watched my leg move and flex, the muscles defining and re-difining themselves. I traced my scars in the order I received them, having to jog my memory occasionally. I saw them for what they are: proof, history, achievement, survivor's marks. They became, for the moment, sketches of triumph and strength etched right into my skin.
I took the moment to just rest and be proud of myself. Not of my sexuality, my genes, my achievements in educational institutions, the completion of my dreams; I let those congratulate themselves in a corner for a moment.
I gazed at my scars and remembered the flicker of moments. I remembered what I went through.
The 'crack' of a bone out of place; the inability to get up. The cramped quarters of a storage-closet-turned-hospital-room; the feel of IVs speckling my body. The pain of being lifted, fractured, above a bed pan; the final thoughts before the mind drifts away and anesthesia takes over. The weight of my eyelids the first time I re-awaken and actually remember it; the relief on the faces around me as I utter my first sarcastic phrase. The stories of asking for hugs from the head of anesthesiology while under the influence of strong drugs; the feel of an epidural being plugged into my spine because the doctors tell me it is easiest if I am awake--and the shock they express when I utter no sound of pain. The sound of machines and refrigerators beeping through the night in what feels like endless hours in every moment; the nurse who comes every hour and is so very sorry to wake me. The feel of my first steps; the feel of my last steps. The feel of a cane in my hand; the feel of crutches under my arms. The feel of wheels where my legs should be; the feel of my hands gripping wheel bars. The feel of my old hip and the pain it bears; the feel of a new hip with a smiling ceramic face. The feel of my last car drive; the feel of my first drive with a new hip. The feel of my last foreseeable steps with a cane; the feel of my first steps with a book and an apple in separate hands. The feeling that years ago I had felt I had broken a bone just like everyone else and was disappointed to find it was more; the feeling of knowing I was fixed for however long, and would be back in however many decades for a second dose of replacement. The sigh of relief.
The fact that I can think of all those and smile. The knowledge that the girls who went through those steps are in my heart, and I hug them every day as they support me through my present actions. The number of smiles I had through those days. The number of times I danced through the pain, and was happy with the dancing regardless. The fact that I am shocked that this year I turn 20 and my hip turns 3; the fact that I am overjoyed that I didn't take my doctors' advice of waiting for 21 to get a replacement.
I am proud. I wasn't happy throughout it all, goodness knows I hit my down points hard, but I stayed sane and strong. I did follow my dreams during and despite it all. I don't speak of it often, but sometimes I have these clear moments filled with so much pride and joy for these younger versions of myself, to me.
Little Nicole went through years of monthly thigh-deep shots filled with drugs to stop her development as a woman but remained a soft-spoken creative observer. Young Kiwi went through years of bone-deep cuts, bone repairs, bone removals, bone replacements, hardware and walking implements yet blossomed into an out-spoken woman of compassion and keen observation.
The question is, what will this Kiwi do with this third decade approaching on the horizon? What will Adult Kiwi begin?
I'm not sure, but I am going to do my damnedest to make the hard-headed, stubborn, smile-happy selves of my past happy. And I'm going to appreciate toast. And write Harry Potter. And help those who have less than I. And have occasional pity-parties because brains enjoy the rest from exhaustive optimism and lesbian erotica.
There we go, done. :) That's my brain. Hope the trip was to your enjoyment. Giggles.