Broken is continuous, a bit of heart break, a knee-twinge, a flaw in mind or memory. I spend hours throughout the week looking for my keys. I know that I am supposed to leave them in the same place, but in spite of earnest resolution, I fail to do this over and over again.
Ever since I realized that Felix’s life would be laced with disability, I’ve been mulling over the definition of term. What is disability but an inability or enormous difficulty doing something that most people can do without much work? Cannot most people remember where they left their keys? Why can’t I? Keys. They are so damn symbolic. Imagine how powerful, not
to mention on time I might be if I always could find the keys.
I got off easy, compared to Felix. From a medical perspective his body is broken, big blotches of white matter killed off, language centers of the brain mangled, movement severely hampered. And yet there are times, many, when this broken body brings him and those around him unfettered joy. His laughter arrests conversations, lights up faces, draws strangers to him. He affects people more deeply than I, notwithstanding my fancy education and highly ranked cognition.
Woken. Woken in the middle of the night by his whoops. Woken by his mystery, his silence, his unknowability. The glory of remembering how little I know, about him, about me, nothing really, not even what knowledge is. Even if I could stay in this broken, woken state, I’d have to leave. I’ve got work to do. And yet to be here is marvelous. I thank him for bringing me here as often as he does. Miranda, his sister, thinks that he can speak with the trees.