It’s the night before the memoir workshop with Heather. Tomorrow I am supposed to bring in a picture of myself at age ten.
I dig through the labyrinth that is [my desk]. I wrestle out the blue photo album that my grandmother has given me last year for my birthday. It chronicles my life from birth to my [current] age of twenty-one.
Ten was a rough age for me. I remember this very oddly. My memories are like old movies I’ve seen years and years ago. They all sort of run together melting into the ever churning kettle that is my brain.
At ten I had already been a Type 1 Diabetic for two years. I knew how to check my own blood sugar (finger prick and all).
I knew how to calculate an insulin dosage. (BG)-140=x (divided by) 40.
And after my mother did a quick double check of my total, I was able to inject myself with the medication I needed in order to be able to continue acting like a normal kid.
The pictures of my from eight on change,
I get taller, lankier, my hair gets darker, my brother goes from toddler to adolescent …
The bracelet remains through it all.
In almost every picture I look at until about age sixteen, the Medic-Alert bracelet dangles on my left wrist.
Ever present. Eerie.
It too goes through changes with me.
Stainless steel, silver, yellow, red, gold, add a link, remove a link, think chain, thick chain, thing chain again …
A constant reminder of what I had …
I was a tough kid. I was older than I looked.
I already knew what a “Glucagon” was. I also knew what it was like to pee on a stick to make sure my kidneys weren’t failing.
Today Again: I look at my left wrist. It is naked with no jewelry weighing me down
The ink however has been woven into my fair skin. My body has bled, inflamed, scabbed, then healed finally. Making the writing part of my skin forever …
This no longer something I had. It is something I am.