It was years before the sound of an ambulance or other emergency vehicle stopped throwing me into a series of violent flashbacks. I was an adult before I was convinced that I could be barefoot in a car and it wouldn’t cause an immediate car-related fatality. It’s only recently that I can see a white van on the road without my chest tightening. I’d say the 30 year anniversary of the car accident that changed my life is a fabulous time to finally let it go.
The first time I read the word chameleon was in 4th grade. My dad gave me a copy of Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon. I asked my dad what a “chameleon” was, sounding it out with the blended /ch/ sound instead of the hard /k/ sound it’s supposed have. “What’s a cham-ē-lē-on?” I asked, innocently. He shook his head. He took the book back. He said, “Huh. I could of sworn you were ready to read these.” His eyes were sad; confused. I’m just now making the connection between this moment and my “shedding my chameleon” mantra of letting go of all my masks. Interesting.COCAINE
When I was 12, my reconstructive surgeon (see: car accident) decided I needed my nose whittled away to make room for more oxygen or some such nonsense. My parents eagerly signed me up. Before the surgery, the nurse shoved Q-tips laden with cocaine up my nose. It dripped down the back of my throat, burning and causing me to cough and sneeze. When I woke up from surgery, I couldn’t stop crying.
“Don’t worry. Many of our young patients have this reaction to the cocaine,” the nurse said, patting me on the back.
Whenever I see a crescent moon, I instantly think the same thing.
Horns up: it’s the Cheshire Cat.
Horns down: God is giving me a thumb’s up!