Friday, October 14, 2005

The Stories

I will say this, that often I felt ill, and I had read before that you eat crackers. You just eat crackers and you’re fine. But it’s not true. Some things worked for a while and then the sight of them made me ill: peanut butter on toast, crackers and cheese, apples, salt and vinegar chips, sausage pasta. All those things worked once or twice and then turned on me. Sometimes it was enough to go for a walk. Sometimes nothing worked and I could not believe that women had jobs and other children while they felt like this. At night, I had terrible headaches.
Around this time, Colin started telling me stories. In all of these stories, the central character had my name. Each story was two to three sentences long. I felt such waves of happiness and relief, to lie in bed with a cold cloth on my head, and to hear the openings of stories. For example: “This is the story of Jaclyn, the Empress of Schnurble.” Or: “Have you heard the tale of Jaci, the Queen of the Semi-Tropics?” I usually fell asleep almost at once.
Often, the stories were about a fairy penguin named Jaci who lives on an iceberg in Sydney Harbour. She keeps in e-mail contact with an Atlantic puffin named Luke who resides in the arctic section of the Montreal Biodome.


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