20071025

Horizontal Vortex

by Quin Browne

I am awake, heart pounding, lost as to where I am, what the object is I am on, my mind frantic in its search among the flotsam and jetsam of letters and images and words contained there that mean... nothing. The sensation doubly frightening; not only do I flounder while I seek the word for this... this thing, this surge of blood and endorphins that brings me to full, shaking awareness, it's that I am cognizant enough to realize I would not understand the meaning of the word should I find it there among the others. It happens more and more these days; scattered words on my dresser... on the floor... in a box of photos of people whose faces that are as lost to me as the name of the thing that they are. In the middle of a conversation, I am struck dumb seeking... something that has letters and a meaning, and I can't remember it and I'm like this human... eight ball that if I wait long enough, it will pop to the top of my head and suddenly... suddenly... I shout it, relieved and exhausted from the search. Creating my own spoonerism language, laughing at myself as this becomes that, words switch places, sentences flip flop... self-deprecation a weapon in the battle I fight in the hope no one will notice my longer and longer pauses... that their words won't start to whisper around me, slipping and settling in my ears, adding to my own thoughts of fear. I wonder, while I look out the window at things that do not fit a category in my memory, feeling the letters touch the edges of my mind... seeing them with peripheral thought, I wonder... will the words remember me?

6S

Quin Browne, author of Laurence Olivier is My Lover, lives in New York City. She likes it there.

24 comments:

Quin said...

quin did not write that bio.

Lourdes Cape Ann said...

Well done K., I loved your entry, brilliant and touching. One can only hope that we wont find ourselves in that place as we grow old or hope that if we do there will be love and compassion all around us. You captured it so well, great job my friend!

L.

mgirl said...

I wonder... will the words remember me? I know these feelings all to well. Amazing six, Quin as always.

Rebekah said...

While I SO know the feeling, I hope the words never lose you. You are their very best friend. You mold them into beauty. You whip them into a frenzy. You mix and match to create plaid stories. and with this closing sentence, that's a six sentence compliment. <3

MrHarlequin said...

Wow.

In six sentences, you sum up both the sadness we see when we look at above us, and the fear that lurks when you reach into our purse of vocabulary, and pull out the vocal equivalent of a Vietnamese 5 Dong piece. Angry at being short-changed and embarresed at being broke.

Thank you for sharing this and helping me to understand.

Loobell said...

I LOVE this piece .. all hail the mighty Quin :-)

Sadsack said...

self-deprecation a weapon in the battle I fight in the hope no one will notice my longer and longer pauses...

I've been found out

Madam Z said...

While suffering from similar embarrassments, I have managed to convince myself that it's the fault of the English language. There are just too darned many words to choose from! Who says that we have to choose just the exact right one? Just say something halfway reasonable and relax. Then laugh. And, a dose or two a day of ginkgo biloba may help. It has a comforting placebo effect on me.

ems kenfur said...

When at a loss for words, I will now refer people to these beautifully written six sentences! I am, what's the word, impressed? Oh, read it again!

austere said...

It is only when you're dependent on them, that they turn traitor, is it not? At times a hazy word or a phrase, but its begun to nag me, just at the edges sometimes.
Reads beautifully.

Jp said...

A fascinating piece. Perfect last line. Thanks for sharing it.

Dr. of Molly said...

Quin is edgy, smart, witty, thought provoking, sexy. I can't stand it! Who is she? Is she even human? I wish I knew her!

bob clay said...

<----Rushes out to buy a dictionary....

Anita Hunt said...

A remarkable six Quin! You really hit on place where so many of us stumble into and feel as though we are alone in our labyrinth of confusion and yet just look at the response you have received..

Quin said...

i lied, the bio that's there now is mine. (darn rob, he changed it mid day)

thank you for reading, for commenting, and it's been interesting seeing the different reactions to the various levels of the story.

i wrote it more from my father's pov... he had alzheimer's.

however, as i find myself struggling for words on occasion, or hear something spring out that is NOT what i meant to say... i'm starting to wonder; is that the path i'll walk, too?

Bob Jacobs said...

Nice one, Quin. It's pieces like this one that keep me coming back here.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Amazing stuff.

Anonymous said...

Your piece is simply remarkable - beautiful. It feels as though you've climbed inside my head, but you've written my thoughts prose I'd never be capable of writing.
What frightened me was your explanation at the end of your comments that this was written from your father's pov - and it has been my fear that I am suffering from early signs of Alzheimer's.
caccy46

Bud said...

I'm stunned. I need to keep this close to me.

m said...

I've liked your work for some time, Quin. This is an example why I like your work; simple, pulling me in, speaking to my being.

Hal said...

I read "Blind Date" and now this. Different worlds. I don't know where you are going in the literary world, but, I'm going to keep an eye out.

Ian said...

Lovely stuff, Quin; this seems to happen to me more and more these days, I find myself doing odd little doodles in the air trying to picture the... thingy... that I've forgotten.

Andrew Thomas Pitkin said...

Very nice, Karen. Ah... the yearning to be remembered. Something everyone feels in their adulthood. Very relatable with intriguing imagery!

ATP

paulbrazill said...

This has impressed me more than a little, more than a lot.