celestial bodies and monsters

This morning at 3:01, something woke me. The room was silent—no dream-yelping dog, no beeping, booming recycling truck in the adjacent parking lot, no gaggle of chatting college students passing either side of our house, no snow plows thundering down the street, no pre-dawn runners to jog me awake. It was so quiet, in fact, that I could hear my heart beat blood through the veins and arteries in my neck, could seemingly hear the buzz of molecules surrounding me. When I went to check on Calvin, he was lying on his stomach pressing his eyes. His hands felt clammy. Only then did I hear his telltale exhale and gurgling gut, hallmarks of a focal seizure. It wasn't the slight sounds of the seizure that had roused me. Most likely I had simply felt and expected its arrival.

After dripping a therapeutic and prophylactic syringe-full of homemade THCA cannabis oil into the pocket of his cheek, and changing a wet diaper, I went to get a drink. Out the bathroom window I saw a hazy, moonless sky with just one visible star flickering above the treetops to the west. I was aware the new moon was out there somewhere, its strong gravitational pull perhaps working on the fluid in my son's brain as if tides in a marsh. At least that's how I imagine it. I'm not ashamed to say at that moment I felt contempt for the celestial body.

I've always wondered about the anecdotal incidents of increased seizures during full and new moon phases. I mean, the brain is made up of some eighty percent water. Why shouldn't it be tugged into fits by the moon's gravitational force? Perhaps that gravity is also why my kid goes so berserk in the waxing and waning of full and new moons, like the monsters and werewolves of folklore are known to do, (and perhaps some mothers.)

As I laid awake, I continued to muse on monsters: epilepsy; coronavirus; lying, violence-inciting, fear-mongering, greedy, power-lusty politicians duping thugs into marauding the halls of congress to terrorize and disrupt our precious democratic process. Clenching my teeth and clutching my pillow, I wondered if there had been a full or new moon on January 6th which might have contributed to the mayhem at the Capitol. But, no, these were just angry, deceived, resentful people instilled with a sense of entitlement. Rapidly, my thoughts returned to Calvin, the sweetest boy in the world whose brain was just under assault, and I wondered, what happens to people?

Finally, I began to drift off with the hope that the seizures—Calvin's and the January 6th one of our Capitol—were one-offs and not the beginnings of insidious clusters. And as I faded into the blackness of sleep, my mind still on monsters and celestial bodies, I heard the radiator creak, knock and ping, my son whimper and fidget, and my dog yelp in her dreams.

Another such morning

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