Friday, November 18, 2011

Excerpt #16

As you are trying to leave, to back away slowly, because you have clarified their problem without solving it, a small baby is carried in by his mother. Both look hyper-alert. He’s a scooter, or a crawler, not yet walking and he just fell down 20 stairs. He’s bleeding from the nose a little, but like you said, he’s very alert and he’s not crying. You think he’s okay, but during the exam he starts to cry, and your heart is broken instantly by the high pitch of it - the fear in it.

You tell the nurse that you can deal with all manner of insanity in psych patients and then just put it behind you as soon as you walk out the door, but babies, man - hurt babies- you don’t know how they do it. She says, we put up a wall. You say that you've adjusted your memory to go no longer than 24 hours. She says the wall doesn’t really work that well. You confess that the memory thing doesn’t much either.

You bury what you see and hear and smell and feel as deep as you can with the time that you have available, but you bury it inside. It’s still in you.

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