When I was very young I was prone to fainting spells. I have multiple memories of standing upright one minute, fighting that dizzying wind that fogged out all feeling above my neck, thinking I could do it, feeling the hot and the cold and the pins and needles crawling upward until they blotted out my eyes, then realizing I couldn’t fight it, and—splat—I was down. I don’t know how long I’d stay out. The next thing I invariably remember is being crumpled on the ground, blurry faces inches from mine, asking if I was all right. I fainted in math class. I fainted during a fire drill. I fainted in an ice-cream parlour while visiting my parents’ friends. I fainted in my own bedroom, while putting socks away in my dresser drawer. I fainted in the car.
Fainting didn’t feel like going to sleep. My brain just went dark, stopped. I wasn’t dreaming. The pins-and-needles effect made me think my head had gone numb. It felt like I was taken out of myself for however many seconds, minutes I was out. And in that time, where was I?
In the past year, the feeling has come back. It happened once on the subway. But I escaped the train, found a seat on the platform, and held on until it passed. A few mornings ago I felt a faint coming on. I had just woken up. I sat on the couch. I scrunched my eyes. I waited. And it passed me by.
Before I felt it coming, I’d been thinking something important. It was about something I was writing, I don’t remember what. It was a spark, a moment of high importance, I’m realizing, but I just can’t get back there. Maybe it was the perfect way to fix my novel and my whole world would be different had I known it. Maybe it was just one word. I don’t know. But it makes me wonder… what else have I missed? It’s like a record that’s skipped—one note, or a whole verse, who’s to know?