Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seven Wheelchairs: Chapter One, an Excerpt

I want to remember that final step toward my destiny, that one pace forward to stand under the needle.

I watched the point descend toward my arm, and I turned away. I know I was wearing Levis. I always wore Levis. Was I wearing my favorite solid black cowboy boots, the ones that had prompted the local kids to nickname me "Tex?" I wasn't nervous. I wasn't fearful. I had taken dozens of inoculations. I had grown past worrying about the minuscule pain, but I remained a bit skittish about the idea of being stuck, and so I never watched the needle penetrate the skin.

Dr. Capetti struck.

I felt the sting. Only a sting then, but it was an unspoken promise of pain I cannot describe, not even now.

I would walk seven days more, only seven days, and then I would be lifted into an iron lung, and walk never again.

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