I was conceived to break the routine. I began in a sloshy warmth that was at all the wrong time. It wasn’t lets get married because we had kids, but lets get married so we can have kids, which was too civilized to be common. I crashed out of the womb in a puddle of sickness, silent, skin discolored by the clinging malady and ready to be stuck in a box for three eternal days I’m glad I was too young to remember.

I toddled into trees and wrapped lumpy fingers around hairy poison ivy vines just before art camp – hands too swollen to hold a crayon, it was a little too mainstream. The tables made a more interesting canvas, and I didn’t seem to have trouble grasping a sharpie between two gloved hands. Art camp and I had different agendas.

I clung to my little brother in his baby sling, tottering back and forth on ankle-less seven year old legs, until his head was shaped like a football from the oppressive cloth carrier. It was an unplanned doctors visit. I thought he was cuter that way, seeing no difference between that and my favorite stuffed bear with his unraveled stitching and protruding stuffing. He was simply well loved.

I’d consider accident-prone to be an understatement, will read the first line of my obituary. The things designed to be a period were never more than a comma, but what should have been what we southerners call a “tennessee rolling stop” put this car in park. Drunken midnight dancing on the railing of the bridges I hope to design, I always manage to fall the right way when I slip. Spending the morning in a daze always seemed better than spending days in mourning.

Every medical office in town knows my name and my files are thicker than my scars. What am I in for this time? Surprise me. The diagnosis was terminal curiosity. But they’ve been saying that for years, and it hasn’t gotten me yet. I think we have different agendas.


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