Full-wrap photo compliments of Mark T. Mustian!
I awake in a whispering ambulance.
Attendants huddle, a gloved finger withdrawn.
Memory makes its way back: the crush of the headache, the darkness. I am cold now. My face is numb.
"Can you hear me?"
"What is your name?"
Speech half forms. In English? At length, "Em... Em... Emmett Conn."
"Where do you live?"
I think. "Twenty-three fifteen Wisteria Court. Wadesboro, Georgia." The words flow faster.
"When were you born?"
I pause, for I do not truly know. "The year 1898." This is what I have said, for many years now. "I am ninety-two years old."
* * *
Time. Time has moved on since the tumor's arrival, spring into summer, blooms into green. I view the drive home from the hospital with new eyes, noting the shapeliness of the trees gracing Miller Street, the shuck and dive of a pair of cardinals, the stare of a wrinkled old man. Roses, Wadesboro's pride, burst from planters and gardens, in reds and purples, oranges and pinks. The last of spent pollen yellow lips around puddles. A train murmurs in the distance, its whistle low like a wind. Life continues, with or without me. I touch my head where the metal frame had been fastened. I am still here. I am still a part of it.
Mark T. Mustian
A remembering, a reflection on the early 20th century--the Armenian genocide by the Turks. I'd known nothing about this sad history. Beautifully written; tragically recalled.