“Mischa, it’s Dad. Mom is here too. Don’t try to get up. The doctors want you to stay here for a while. You…you…you had two seizures today.”
Her head felt like it had exploded. It had never hurt like this before. She wondered whether it had grown larger just to accommodate that amount of pain. When she looked around questions ran through her head. How did I get into this hospital gown? Where are my clothes? Where are my shoes? Why is there blood on the hospital gown? Where am I bleeding from? She tried to lift herself up.
“Poets dress like they can't think about mundane things like fashion. Or maybe poets want to draw attention to themselves. Or they want audiences to think they have odd artistic flair. You just dress like a normal person.”
I heard the truth of Barbara's observation. I didn't say that since matching colors was not a high-level skill in my repertoire and I had no fashion sense, I opted for cautious. That, even to me, didn't sound poet-like. Poets should sound fearless, or at least creative. Maybe they should look that way too?
When chronic illnesses and disabilities are featured in fiction, it usually follows a certain formula. A main character or his/her family member has cancer or depression, perhaps another type of mental illness, and generally dies of it or recovers. From the perspective of drama, being "chronic" is stagnant and problematic. Other disabilities are usually relegated to side characters, just like disabled people are expected to assume less visible roles in the society. In some novels crips may be bitter villains, but more often they are just there to be damn inspiring.