Dizzy Girl
By Jaclyn // [email protected]
October 2003

A/N: This was an English assignment. The story, like Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl," was supposed to be an interior dialogue between two people (girl/mother, girl/teacher, etc), in which the latter gave the former more advice than she ever wanted. We were supposed to use a distinctive voice, details from our own lives, blah blah.


She thinks about what they say, about how It Will Get Better Soon When? Soon; and Turn your head like This, yes, like This. And she thinks about neurons and axons and dendrites, and she wonders if it bothers those small, fragile things that they are always standing still. They are nerves, after all; they should feel something, right? But they have no chance of Getting Better; they cannot change, cannot grow, cannot make anew what has been eaten away.

They say her brain will work around it, that if she Turns her head like This, yes (like This: over and over and over, two sets, one in each direction, four times a day) -- they say her brain will learn to adapt.

She has seen little evidence of this, though it's been only a half-dozen months, so perhaps she's just being impatient.

She thinks, I am seventeen years old. I have done nothing but watch the world spin away. All these months of my life, and you tell me to be patient, and you compliment me on how I'm Being So Strong, and none of it means anything because don't you see what I'm losing in exchange?

Everything she used to want-- everything is different now. Now, all she wants is one moment. Just one moment in which the floors would stop tilting and the walls would stop swirling like some sort of psychotic tornado and-- all she wants is for everything to stand still so she can catch her breath.

She feels like she is always running, always moving, even when she closes her eyes and falls through the pillow. She is so tired, but sleep is for stillness and she's not really sure what that is anymore. She searches for the sense memory of what that means but all she can find are those endlessly spinning circles.

They tell her she should concentrate on walking like a regular person. But I am a regular person, you shmuck. Don't hold your head so stiffly, they say, even though we know it makes it Easier. You know nothing. Your textbooks are all written from a distance, and don't you know perspective is everything when you're falling always and forever in your head?

They tell her the scent of peppermint will help soften the nausea into something she can handle; and for once, they are right. She clings to her pretty little bottle of fragrance oil and lets her mind drift in the temporary reprieve; she thinks about that Superman guy, the one who sounds like Keanu Reeves but isn't, and about how all he needs is just one little smidgen of nerve and he'll be able to walk again -- she, well, at least she can still walk, even if it's not quite in a straight line.

Soon, they tell her, Soon, and she starts to believe them.


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