Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Seventy Three

My first memories are of me in a hospital. They are images, pieces of a recollection of what took place. The interstitial moments have faded from my mind so that only these singular instants remain.

In the first I am lying upon a hospital bed, unable to move. I have the distinct sensation of something like claustrophobia, an itch to move that I cannot scratch. My leg is broken and raised up in traction – I know this, but I do not actually see it in my memory. Instead, what I see is someone hovering above me offering me a plate with toast and jam. Their face is a ghostly absence, though I feel it is kindly. Whoever it was is vanished from my mind.

The second is some days or weeks later. I was in traction for over a month because I, ignoring the pain it caused, would not stay still enough for my leg to set properly. This time I am outside, seated on the wooden planks of a deck, playing with a toy truck. Some other child comes and takes it away from me and I cry out, trying to get up to steal it back. But my legs don’t know what they are doing after so long abed and I remain seated and forlorn on the deck.

I must have returned home not long after, but I have no memory of that. For years I favoured my left leg over my right when going down stairs or kicking a ball, for no reason except the memory of that broken leg shadowed my young thoughts. Now all that remains are those two images, so vivid and clear, while the greater parts have been washed away by the years.

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