By Jane Ratcliffe
I reached toward my bowl of oatmeal. Before me, I noticed a pair of hands. Faintly red with raised blue veins, they floated in the shallow morning light. I drew a sharp breath. I lived alone. The doors were locked. Who could be in my house? Unnerved, I kept watching the hands. The colors glowed, the skin like the bark of a young tree. Then I recognized the ring: an oval diamond set amidst tiny dots of turquoise and topped with a bright ruby. My ring. Therefore, my hands.
It was March, 2008. These were my first moments of brain injury, although I didn’t yet know this was what was happening. It was like watching my life on a high definition television screen. I was in my body. Everything around me was vibrant and precise. We were just in two separate worlds.
Exactly a decade earlier, on March 9th, 1998, I was temping in a furniture showroom in New York City, helping the owner with some office work. A huge wooden tabletop hung over the manager’s desk. I was there for a week and each day I said to her, “Aren’t you afraid that’s going to fall on you?” She laughed.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t go near her desk. Until the end of the week, when I daringly strode over to get a stamp and, bam, the rope snapped and the tabletop fell on my head.
“A tabletop fell on my head,” I said, laughing so hard tears rolled down my face.
“A tabletop fell on my head,” I said again, as my vision shut off, then returned.
“A tabletop fell on my head,” I repeated, as now my hearing went, then returned. Continue Reading…