striking walls

Deep in my sleep in the dead of last night I watched my parents die. It was dark and cold in my dream as I left the home of a friend then strolled down the steep. Unknown others from unknown places joined me in my march. On the road below I saw a familiar car skidding down the serpentine hill toward a hairpin turn that I knew it would be unable to survive. At a swift speed the car—large and heavy metal, the kind that old folks drive—struck a vertical rock wall. Upon impact, the nose of the car crumpled, and I saw my father’s arm sandwiched behind the wheel as if it were a flag.

“That’s my mom and dad inside!” I shrieked twice into the crowd, “Someone call 9-1-1!”

Those last five words, spoken aloud, woke me from my dream, which left me nearly sweating, worrying about my sick little kid and about my indecision to attend Saturday’s DC march.

After a pee and a drink of water I managed to fall back to sleep until four when I awoke to Calvin’s grand mal. It has been twenty-seven days since his last one, and so it wasn't too terribly disheartening until the second grand mal two hours later, plus the spate of partials he’s suffered much of the day, and the rectal Valium, extra Keppra and cannabis I've put on board.

Truth be told, I’m exhausted, and at times yesterday so exasperated I wanted to strike a wall, having taken care of a writhing, vomiting boy who unwittingly punches me in the throat and eyes, and spending too much angst and energy fretting my decision about traveling to Washington. To be honest, if the trip were just slightly simpler, maybe I’d jump at the chance to join the hundreds of thousands who’ll be standing up for women’s rights, the rights of Black and Brown lives, the rights of Muslims, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and the rights of the disabled. Last night at dinner I told Michael as much, saying that if raising Calvin weren’t so goddamn complicated and taxing—the sleep deprivation, the logistics, the worry, the medical analytics, the monotony, the physical exertion, the demand on my patience and nerves—I’d have few second thoughts about picking up and going to DC. After all, I've got my plane ticket. But I don’t think I can make it this time without spreading myself too dangerously thin and risking illness or injury.

Returning to my dream, I envisioned the car crashing into the mountainside. I thought about my parents—Dad whose been gone twenty-one years, Mom who left us a year ago last October—thought about Calvin, thought about Michael and me. Then I imagined Saturday’s glorious melting-pot of bodies and faces that I ache to immerse myself in—molasses black, mahogany brown, tawny, white, red-freckled and fair—and I was reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou I'd recently seen:

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, she stands up for all women.

Then I realize that, in my absence, there will l be legions of women—and allies—gathered in DC standing up for me. And while they're striking the walls of inequality in our nation's capital, while they are braiding an unbreakable chain of diversity, I’ll be clutching my heart and clenching my fist in solidarity.

our sick boy this morning


  1. So sorry this doesn't go easier. Let's meet up on Sunday if you have time/energy and have that long promised drink.

  2. Christy thanks for sharing your heartwrenching dilemma, and the beautiful sentiments of Mayou Angelou. You stand up for yourself and for Calvin and for so many each and every day. Today, and tomorrow, let us stand up and carry you. I'll hold you in my heart tonight, and you will give me courage, when I stand on my grad school campus to denounce the words and actions of the man who will spread his hate speech there tonight. And you will be with me - and my young teacher friends - as we march tomorrow in Seattle. You do not know it, but this group of educators have been touched by you and Calvin and your writing, the words you've shared here have shaped many of our discussions about IDEA and inclusion in schools. I wish so dearly you could be in the DC march or here yourself, but we'll feel your heart and fist no less strongly.

  3. I will hold you in my heart as I march in DC tomorrow. Much peace to you

  4. I marched for you! I marched for my gay friend currently undergoing chemo. I marched for my pregnant daughter who will be raising feminists. I marched for all the oppressed and for ME. My white, middle aged hubby was right next to me! We will NOT be silent!