Louis E. Bourgeois – nonfiction

Epilepsy Has a Cause

A crowd of grown ups were standing around on the grassy shore watching someone pulling in a fish.  I walked over to see what was going on; I heard someone say it was a garfish.  I wasn’t but maybe three years old and I don’t remember ever seeing a fish before.  It had glowing eyes and wooden wheels; it was spiting fire out of its nose and mouth; it was a terrible thing to see and I fainted onto the soft Bermuda grass.  I woke a minute later and all the grown ups were standing over me in a circle. What happened Lucas?  Get up boy, it’s all right, it’s only a gar, he’s not going to eat you, you need to get off the ground, it’s getting dark.  But it was already dark, too dark.  I was already ruined for life; darkness had made a home in me much earlier than most people.  That night I dreamed of the garfish in all its horribleness, until I foamed at the mouth and they had to take me to the hospital because I was biting my tongue hard and covering the sheets with blood. Later, the doctors said there wasn’t a thing wrong with me.    

How wrong they were…. 

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