A Desert of Questions

I have lived in a sweets shop and eaten candy all my life and yesterday I was thrown into a textile mill of worries and anger. I think this time, Lyme has gone far enough. I will forever and irrevocably loathe it till kingdom come and I be done. If I could hold onto a grudge for long.
The mind is a fickle friend. No, I lie, it is not a friend. It is the Godfather of the body and it both respects it and loathes it and fears it. But it knows the best of any how to get you worst. It knows your weakness. It knows you very well. It keeps you closer than an enemy or a friend. It knows the memory is what we cherish, and pain, sorrow and loneliness is what we fear. It blocks important memories when you need them most, gives you pain when your happy, makes your tongue say stupid things to give you sorrow and laughs at your loneliness. ‘You are not lonely. You have me. Brain. Godfather.’, the brain would say if it could talk. 
It has hit me deepest of all. I did not know my brain wanted to wage such a vendetta against me, and it most likely wouldn’t have without outside help. Lyme is trickier than even the Godfather and convinced him to make some wiring changes. Tweak things. Make it easier for Lyme to get closer. 
Godfather and Lyme plotted to erase my father. And their plot was so effortlessly strategize and carried out that I didn’t see it coming and couldn’t have prevented it. 
Ladies and Gentleman, do not let Lyme take a bow. He has not won.
He. Will. No. Win.
He can take everything from me and he still will be despicable and a piece of dirt on the sole of my shoe. And I step on dirt and wash it away and I will do the same to Lyme.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not remember my father. The man who I’ve know longer than any and better than any I will ever know. I know not of what we have done, where we have been or seen together. I do not know his name. I do not know where he works. I can’t picture him. He is gone. Somethings I remember. Vaguely. Like someone’s best-friends-sisters-boyfriend that you met once at a wedding/funeral/party/street-meeting. My memory is fuzzy.
I know I should love him, blow him kisses as we sign off the phone, tell him I miss him. But I do not know him. I don’t love strangers (as a rule) , kiss strangers (as a looser rule), or tell strangers I miss them because I do not know them. I still blow him kisses and tell him I miss him and love him. I ask the general small talk questions.
I would like to tell you all that my dad and I were close. That he played games with me and had a warm laugh and loved wine and cooking and listened to the music I liked in the early morning school rides. But I do not know for sure. I know nothing.
It feels like half of my ties to this world that I love are gone. Like there is a whole inside my heart and mind and I know what is supposed to fill the whole but can’t seem to locate it. Its being hungry but not remembering food is to fill it, and instead chew on glass and rubber tires and sorrow. 
Where is the saving grace? 
I am alive. I remember Mommy. I have a ceiling above me and a floor below and food in my belly and love all around.
Those are saving graces.
I know I love you that much, Daddy. And I know you love me. And I feel like a bad daughter to forget. But its not me. Just know its not me. Its the Godfather figure masquerading as my brain and a clever fellow called Lyme. I love you Daddy.
I am half like a toddler who stubbornly cries for Daddy and then when Mommy walks upstairs to where you sleep and asks what’s wrong, you say “I wanted Daddy, not you”.
But I’m not. Cause I want Mommy and Daddy. Is that too much to ask. It is too much to ask the Godfather to spare me mercy this time and let me have what I want. It is a small request. I will double whatever Lyme is paying you to erase Daddy.

I feel there is no oasis, not now. And there was not one yesterday, or the day before yesterday or tomorrow. I am certain. There is an desert of questions and untouchable memories and I am a thirsty nomad just looking for a drink. But I didn’t come to the desert, I was home and wandered and wandered and wandered, following signs and advice from tourists, calling down from the safety of their hot air balloons passing over head. They’d cry, “There is water this way! Follow!” or “Home is this way! Turn around! You are headed the wrong way!”. And each time I was directed, I was misdirected, and each time I followed a sign, it pointed me in the wrong direction. So now I have blown into the desert and I am still searching for another sign, another tourist to point me to an oasis. If you wander far enough, if you travel long enough, if you struggle enough, if you see enough and learn enough you will find an oasis. 

But I will stumble upon an oasis. And when I do, it will be filled with the smell of your blankets in the bed you’ve slept in for years, salty tears, jaw-stretching grins and laughter that will hurt and make you cry some more, memories, grass mowed down like a brush cut and mangoes. It will be filled with water. It will be filled with lifeblood. It will be full to the brim with an old memory. And that was worth all the stumbling in the desert for. 

4 Comments on A Desert of Questions

  1. raven
    October 31, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t know if you are old enough to remember (I can’t believe I’m old enough to say that), but years ago there were these anti-drug adverts on TV. Some bloke held up an egg and said, ‘this is your brain,’ the he cracked the egg into a hot fry pan and said as the egg sizzles and starts to burn, ‘this is your brain on drugs.’ Sometimes I feel that is exactly what happens to the brain when on Lyme. It’s just horrid. In my experience, there is nothing that Lyme does that is as terrible as the neurological symptoms.

    Hang in there. It feels like Lyme takes away everything, but you are strong and the more it takes away, the more you fight back. Sometimes when we wonder in the desert, all we have left is a canteen of hope. Just keep on walking and you’ll find some water.

  2. Richard
    November 1, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Hi Nicole,

    I check your blog every couple of days and am blown away by the raw emotion, courage and determination in your writing. We are all thinking of you and look forward to the days when you will walk the halls of your school again. Mr. Calderwood

  3. Anonymous
    November 3, 2008 at 1:08 am

    hey Nicole! it me Lisa again! don’t feel bad if u don’t remember me! and i’m sending u another card pretty soon with a picture of some of ur pals at home! you are an incredible writer! i wish i could write the way u do! u’ll be perfect for IB english! i can’t wait for u to come back home to little old Victoria! hopefully we can spend a white christmas together and sing christmas carols and sip hot chocolate and hang out with friends like old times! look forward to the good times we will have when u get back!
    tell those doctors that i say thank you for helping u and tell them to hurry up!
    ~ Lisa (from Victoria, from GNS)

  4. Beachcomber
    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 am

    I found your blog today through the Sooke News Mirror. Thank you for writing it. For your honesty, your raw emotion and for your courage. I have been following your story since it first hit the papers. I know after reading your blog that you vanquish this foul Godfather. It has cost you so much. But you are so much stronger. You are. Even on your worst days, you are.

    I look forward to someday making your acquaintance on the streets of Sooke. I know I’ll meet a vibrant and healthy young woman who takes pleasure in every breath, every ray of sunshine and knows their value.


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