A year ago, I went home, I had Laryngitis and was unable to love on everyone… Laryngitis, that’s what the doctors called it – I have been having throat spasms since my time in the Army. A few days before my flight out, my throat closed – no air. The pushing sound of me trying to force my throat open – something I learned from a Marine who blew air into my windpipe to open it the first time my throat closed. He saved my life. I was in AIT (Advanced Individual Training) for my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and all of a sudden, the water I was swallowing expelled out of my throat like a fountain as I gasped for air.
Doctors never believe me. They won’t even check me if I get to emergency after it stops. Even those doctors this last time in the emergency room didn’t believe me as they watched me gasp for air. They told me to “calm down”. Then slowly hooked me up to monitor the air, laughed among themselves (probably calling me a hypochondriac in code) until the machine called foul and the people from the front desk came back to see who was sounding like they couldn’t breathe. The look between them – the doctors – “Oh, she really isn’t getting air…”
“No, I am not getting air, that’s why I came to emergency to pay the $200 dollar plus fee – to be seen.”
I left with a bag of medication but nothing to help with the spasms should they turn up again. They called it Laryngitis but knew there was something else going on.
I don’t know why I am thinking about this. Maybe, because it’s the feeling I get when every avenue I try to get my work out there seems to expel my efforts like the water I was drinking that first time. The constant reconciling is enough to bust the four back wheels on a semi-truck. All the ideas, all the words…
And yet I continue… Here’s to continuing, out of breath and all, until…
The wolves who came to breakfast devoured the meat with the life at once, leaving scant scraps for the omega. There is a hierarchy among wolves, there is also a great sense of community.
“I have never been contained except I made the prison.” – Mari Evans
We forget that the shutdown delayed medical care for other ailments. No second opinions, no early detection or preventive treatment; everything was on hold for a year. Two years later – all things exacerbated by time – we grieve the more and COVID-related takes on a deeper meaning.
I lost a cousin this month – one of the greatest minds I have ever known. I wanted more time…
Myself, I am going through the results of delayed care. The stress of it is stifling. The constant search for water – spiritual, physical and emotional is stretching me beyond my limits as I blindly believe for a new day. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror, I don’t turn on the camera during Zoom meetings, I rarely go out. Groundhog Day.
I dream I am writing… I wake to find I am not…
I am imploding with all the words…the words…the words…
Literary Partners is doing a marathon reading of Toni Morrison’s book “Song of Solomon” on YouTube. You can hear it read live if you sign up for the free event and you can also donate to Literary Partners when you register. Tomorrow, 2/28/2021, Part Three will also be read live. You must register to attend the live event at https://litpartners2020.org/toni-morrison/ .
A group of writers are reading it; it’s quite captivating and wonderful. The reading has such a flow to it. I have binge-watched television shows but this is a whole new way to experience the reading of a book. I am loving the difference in each reader yet the singular magnificence of Ms. Morrison’s work.
Readers: Brit Bennett, Edwidge Danticat, Hilton Als, Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Reynolds, Jennifer Egan, Jesmyn Ward, Lorrie Moore, Louise Erdrich, Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Robin Coste Lewis, Tayari Jones, Tommy Orange and Yaa Gyasi.
Introductions by: Kevin Young, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Lisa Lucas.