OYM Day 90: Believe Me

My child hid a baby carrot in her butt cheeks today and asked me where her carrot went. I looked for a good 2 minutes before she started laughing and showed me. How’s your day going?

I’m not asking you to believe me. Believing me was never an option. I am telling you the story of my life as it is, as it was. I could choose to believe that you never existed. But that’s rude. And a tad crazy, no?

Of course, this is my retelling and it’s based on my memory alone. If I were to ask you what happened the day the car didn’t stop at the intersection and kept going, through the stop sign, down the road, up over the curb, through the fence, down the backyards, and well on over that woman and her dog…you might have said nothing at all. You might have blinked or turned to grab your cigarette and missed the whole thing. Does that mean it didn’t happen? Of course not. You saw the white sheets on the ground and the smoking Chevrolet. It was a heart attack, they said. You remember that part.

But did you see the events? Did you hear the click in time when the wheels sunk up and the tragedy started to take its place? Did you notice how yellow the houses looked or feel the gnat crawling down my leg, tangled in baby soft hairs? Did you notice the young woman in the church parking lot bracing herself for a wreck she couldn’t stop? Or did you look away for a few seconds, the sun in your eyes?

No. Believing me is not a choice you get to make. It just is. And if you could go back in time, way before the police and the newspapers and the sobbing husband, you would have stared so dead and long your eyes would crack. You would have listened for the sound of the dog collar, the lawn mower, the gunning engine, rubber getting air.

So, please. Do not tell me that you don’t believe me. Whether it’s today or tomorrow or a talk of some days passed. You are not me. It’s as if my life is not credible or perhaps a little too strange to feel comfortable with. Perhaps it defies logic or sensibility. Perhaps it bends in places without joints or soft tissues.

But unbelievable? Certainly not.

Because it happened.

And there’s nothing you can do about it.

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