Concussion by Angelica Ames

You hit your head pretty badly. It was stupid. Drinking the worries of the day away with a single malt scotch and home cooked lasagna. At this point in your adult life, this dish is the only thing you can make from muscle memory, no cookbook required and you are damn proud of it too. You glide swiftly to the right to preheat your oven and you knock your phone off the counter. It drops on the tiled kitchen floor, scattered crumbs of god only knows what sticks to your un-cracked screen, thank goodness. You reach to pick it up, and on the way back up, you hit the back of your head on the edge of the granite countertop. You yell out SHIT in agony as you reach back to assess the damage. Looking at your fingertips, some blood, but not enough to warrant a hospital visit. You lick the blood off your fingers and walk over to the freezer to get something frozen. Your wound has now morphed into a lump, the familiar kind you got as a kid after playing too hard.  You grab an ice pack from your freezer, apply the cold compress and grab the bottle of scotch as you make your way to the living room to watch some television and wait for your dinner to be done. As you sit down on your couch, you tell yourself to stay awake, because you might have a concussion. You have never been sure of what a concussion is, but you know you hit your head pretty hard, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not even fifteen minutes into that new show, the one with Nicole Kidman, you start dozing off, you are startled by the sound of whispering. You can’t seem to find the source. You brush off the whispering as no big deal, due to your head injury. The ice pack has melted, you return it to the freezer and on the walk over you enjoy the wafting smells of lasagna that have filled your tiny apartment. There it is again. A faint voice coming from your living room. Maybe it’s your head injury. You sit down, glancing around, looking for signs of life, while simultaneously thinking you’ve lost it. You hear it again. This time you get down on your hands and knees, listening intently, waiting, almost daring it to happen again. It’s so quiet you can hear the ticking of the clock on the wall. The leaves of your plant rustle in the corner of the room. Claw-like tree branches scraping at your window. Crawling around, the whispers start again, you follow the sounds straight to your remote. You stare intently as you watch the buttons morph into a menacing face. Falling back in shock, you pinch yourself with the tips of your fingernails so hard you leave an unsightly mark. This has to be some kind of dream. Your remote answers, “no, it’s a nightmare”.

Angelica Ames is a Black woman and D.C native embracing her creative side during these trying times. She is a music and television connoisseur and enjoys starting plants from household food items.

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