I wake up. The room is white. OK, the ceiling is white. The walls are yellow. The sheets are robin’s egg blue. The carpets are deep red. Not really blood red, though. But dark. Like a Radio Flyer wagon. But darker. And a little different. Sort of more red than red.
I hear someone talking in the next room. Down the hall. Behind a door. Except he’s just babbling. He’s probably pissed in his pants while he slept. Maybe crapped. He wants out from behind the bars. I can let him out. But I’m just lying here. White ceiling. Yellow walls. Radio Flyer carpet.
I know him. He’s only got eight teeth in his head. He only eats gruel and small pieces of food. He can’t chew. No molars. He can’t walk, except clutching desperately to a wagon. He never falls, but he’d rather crawl. That way, he can lay down wherever he is when he gets tired.
He hugs the floor. He plays with dolls. He laughs at himself in the mirror. He jumps up and down to the sound of music. He squeals in delight when he sees birds. He needs two naps a day. And he’s got that burn on his leg. That burn that I’m responsible for. That burn from the Harley Davidson, now forever known as the Owwie Davidson.
I shuffle out, to the bottle, shake a pill into my palm. One more pill. One more day. One more day with allergies. With all this pollen, a million pieces of pollen–so many iridescent motes of dust that dance in the wind as if someone were writing about them.
I started reading A Million Little Pieces this weekend–could you tell? I know, it’s fake. Or not. Maybe I would take it more seriously and get more caught up if I didn’t know that, but honestly, it’s all very Less-Than-Zero-in-Rehab, so I feel like I’ve read it before, but set in L.A.
On Sunday, when we went to see Rolling Thunder (video is on the way), I forgot to take my Claritin. By the end of the day, I wanted to rub my eyes and nose off my face. I got back on the junk the next morning, and everything seems right with the world again now.
Except 3B’s burn. When we got home we were going to take some pictures of 3B on Mama’s cousin’s new Harley until 3B’s leg hit something hot on the engine. We got no pictures, but 3B did get a fair-sized burn on the back of his leg, which we’ve been worrying over ever since.
Honestly, once the adrenaline left our systems, I think we realized that this is like a really bad sunburn and that he should be OK, but we’re still keeping it covered with a gauze bandage, which we’re changing twice a day, just to be sure. We’re consulting with our pediatrician friend to make sure that there’s nothing else we can do, but I think that the cure requires nothing more than cleanliness, time, and patience.
Every time I think of it, though, I clench my hands, curl my toes, and grimace. It must have hurt him so badly–although he’s not been aware of it now, and hasn’t been since about 15 minutes after it happened. And it was all for a picture. Agh.
I keep replaying it in my mind, trying to make it go differently this time. Hoping that when I get home, there will be no bandage on his leg, no burn. And then I try to remind myself that he’ll heal. That he’s not even aware of it, much less bothered by it. And then I try to remember to take full breaths. To get to sleep on Sunday night, I had to tell myself to lay still and breathe deeply as we do in yoga class–in through the nose until my ribs expand, out through the mouth until my chest sags–for five minutes. After that, I was finally still enough to go to sleep.
But I still woke up thinking about it.
He will get better. Right?