A Memoirby Clay Byars
On Thursday morning I woke up at home with the sun slanting through my bedroom window in separate rays. I caught an occasional whiff of antiseptically soaked gauze mixed with the smell of my clean sheets, but if I didn’t move I could almost imagine it had all been a dream. Except I didn’t want it to be a dream, because then Eleanor’s visit would have to be one, too. I wanted to call her right then, to wake her up. I reminded myself I was no longer racing the clock.
The phone rang, and I threw back the covers to try to answer it before my mother could, assuming it was someone calling to check on me. When I stood up, I became dizzy and spots splotched my eyes. I sat back down on the bed. I heard my mother talking and could tell by her businesslike tone that it wasn’t for or about me. A moment later she appeared in my room and asked me how I felt. Fine. She told me she had to run out but would hurry back.
My unshakably bright mood persisted as I walked to get some writing paper from the den. I needed to send a lot of thank-you notes. As I searched through the drawers, a wave of intense dizziness washed over and threw me off balance. Whatever it was felt like an inhuman force, so unfamiliar it was somehow mechanical. It wasn’t even within the range of anything I’d felt before. I put both hands on the desk to brace myself, but when I leaned back in the chair the dizziness left. I sat there until my heartbeat slowed somewhat. I then remembered one of the interns in New Orleans saying how important it was to eat regular meals following surgery.