She fell asleep worrying about the tremor in her heart. She awoke wondering about the tension across her skull. Maybe she really was critically ill. Maybe she should see the doctor. Those late-night and early-morning hallucinations of gunshot riots, rabbiting politicians, redactive summit meetings, those rabid howls of the naysayers and cynics and dreamers and do-gooders, the sheer wall of white noise as rhetoric reflects ceaselessly around an almost voided mind and beats hard through the bloodstream in a fast, mounting surge. She was dying. She went to the doctor. The doctor confirmed her suspicions. Everyone is dying, he said.
Did I even wear spectacles when I began all this? My hair was thicker, definitely: brown, remember? Now it is thinned and grey. It needs to be cropped short. I was slim then too, though I didn’t think so at the time. Out of shape is what I said. I looked at myself; looked at the kids coming through. Their wee bandy legs and enthusiasm. They’ve done well. Better than I could’ve hoped. But they grow up and leave, filled with urgency, pride and belief in themselves. And I remain. Some say I could have stopped them. But that’s family.