Wednesday, December 2, 2015


     I had a seizure a few minutes ago when I began writing. Yesterday, I started having one immediately after typing the words "Henry Siler." Before I could write the next word, there I was, in first grade again.
     And no, nothing awful ever happened to me at that school or at my middle and high schools. I never had a "bad" teacher, and I wasn't bullied by mean kids. These unplanned trips in time don't take me back to hidden, dark places.
     If they did, I wouldn't  be writing about it here.
     The moments I revisit are -- like my seizures -- scary, confusing and sometimes embarrassing. However, they are also very familiar and almost comforting -- like my seizures.
     I don't do any of it on purpose. If I could, I would do it in a much different way.

     One of most confusing days of first grade was when we had  Show-and-Tell right after Christmas Break.
     Something didn't make sense to me about the other kids' toys. A really, really poor girl brought in her new doll, a cheap, hollow version of Barbie.
     I couldn't understand why Santa brought her a fake Barbie instead of the real one from T.V.
     She was quiet and never got into trouble in class the way I did, so why did I get better toys? Why did a naughty little chatterbox like me get dolls with soft skin and hair when she had to play with cheap plastic?
     Where was that magical, generous person who made everything okay, at least one morning out of the year?
     I learned the answer during first grade by simply looking around me at the way some of my classmates were dressed, how they smelled and the tangles in their hair...
     And it bothered me, a lot.