What led me to the clinic bed is lost in a daze. I know that I had difficulty walking up the stairs—I, who used to fly up the stairwells long before dawn; I, who sprung over whole lakes seething with arctic wind; I, who have played leapfrog with skyscrapers; I felt my knees burn at the effort of a few measly stairs—and that I yelled at two kids whacking each other with rolled-up papers, surprising them and the whole class with a roar of rage—“Stop it both of you!” (not what I actually said)

I know I swayed as I played Vanna White and copied things down on the whiteboard, watching the black marker-ink shine as it dried, and that I was sweating into my wet hair. A very pregnant science teacher, one of my favorites, her great bulbous belly like a table or a massive cannon propped up by two sturdy legs, stopped me and flustered over me (O for the attention of women!), and I was inside a minivan, then inside the clinic, changing slippers for slippers after the glass door that slides open to the left, and speaking to a doctor through a friend—what matters is that I lay beneath a bag full of clear gleaming fluid that dripped down inside my soft inner elbow through a tube, and that I have Enteritis. The plastic bag towered above me in the fluorescent light, I discovered a strange blueish pain of liquid filling up around my right bicep if I turned on my right side, babies screamed from the other room and footsteps tapped about while a youth in a bed nearby mumbled and groaned incoherently into a cell phone or to himself. I drowsed and mused and returned home and drowsed and mused.

Adventure over, I returned, exhausted, unable to eat but craving food (an American variety of food), same with my friends. I’m tired of being apart from the people I love. While I drowsed I thought of different writing ideas, different futures, and knew (as I’ve written before) that I’ll go insane with joy to see the dark woods of Massachusetts again.

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