Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Putting your eyeballs on sideways

Ever lay on the couch and watch crap for so long that when you stand up, your perception is all off and it makes your eyeballs feel funny? Like they're on sideways.

I was at the police station today watching an interrogation and it was kinda like that. Only with more nausea involved. On account of the angle of the cameras and the weird way the digital images didn't flow but jerked. And the echo. En espanol. It was a little surreal. And nauseating. But I mentioned that.

The deal is the guy was accused of touching a four year old. Which is why I was watching the interrogation. He denied it of course. Its no fair being four. Or three or two. You can't tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Its like your stories have their eyes on sideways and can't get out the whole in your throat. And none of us can be sure of your story when its all Alice-in-wonderlandy. The story's true, its just hard to see how the parts fit together.

Cops want me to have the answer. They want there to be a black and a white and a good guy and a bad guy. They go after the bad guy. But its not so simple. Their view is all slidy and confusing too. Because sometimes people are on the right side or the wrong side and they switch hit for the other team, or just trade sides or hang out in the middle like Sweden all selling arms to one country but refusing to get involved in the war. That's more like most people.

Cops want me to be able to tell if he did it or not. They use their tricks and intimidation and training in lying to try to make a picture of whether he did or didn't do it. And we sit and talk and talk about it, trying to get it into some crisp photo focus that shows the answer equals 9 or 10 or 13 or yes or no or black or white. But I don't know.

My eyes are still on sideways from being all tired and unmotivated and spending too much time reading and watching movies. I've been all skewed viewed and mopey. Sometimes I get too focused and can't remember to have fun. Its been the worst summer ever for that. I'm so busy trying to make sure the kitchen's repainted and the baby room is set up and the energy audit and the new insulation and getting the carpets cleaned and my caseload cleaned up and prepared that I've been forgetting to be me. The fun, goofy me. The one who can drop things easily in order to make a snide comment or whimsical remark. Ok, they're a lot snarky sometimes, but normally they slide effortlessly off my braintongue.

Its summer. Lay around. Swim. Spend a long evening talking as the sunsets on a deck with friends. Go for a long walk without knowing when you'll be home or where you're headed. These are instructions for me. I'm allowing myself 2 more days to be hyper focused. Then, its summer. And I'm going to make myself remember who I am, reintroduce whimsy, let the focus out and shift and meander toward an easy ride to the end of wherever.


Eric Alder said...

I'm reminded of an experiment where they had people wear special glasses that inverted their vision.

After awhile, when they'd acclimated to seing everything upside-down, the glasses were removed and the people experienced the same sort of unsettling, off-balanced sensation as when they first wore the glasses.

Silly Swedish Skier Says So said...

I remember reading that at the St. Louis science museum (where I spent much time as a kid since it was free and walking distance from my mom's work.)