Samuel Coleman gives us a glimpse of the world through the eyes of his infant daughter.
A humid morning spent discussing my dreams with my parents. Daddy, less concerned with listening to me and curiously obsessed with sleeping, turned his back to me. A few kicks to the ribs and a number of playful jabs to the kidneys made short work of his desperate attempts to ignore me. Mummy was similarly obtuse in her communications but more readily approachable. Her nose made for a reliable activation device. We left Daddy to his dark mood and ventured downstairs for breakfast.
This, my wretched friends, was the calm before the immovable lurch into a fresh sensory storm. As Daddy inexplicably left yet again I could only take it as a shallow swipe at the displeasure of my company. No matter. There was a fresh hell awaiting me. One which I had been through before yet had always managed to confound me. Beyond the gentle realms of my surroundings lay acres of uncontrollable chaos. I saw my carriage being prepared. Despite my protests I was then thrust into layers of brightly coloured cloths. Once adorned I was lifted from my Nirvana and placed gently into the depths of my carriage.
I anxiously glanced back at my silent companions below. I had been so engrossed by my studies that morning that I had neglected my morning inspection. Bobble Cat was looking particularly smug. He would feel a cold wrath on my return.
But there was little time for reflection. The carriage lurched forward and suddenly I was dazzled by light. Blinking and constrained I emerged into a world far beyond my understanding. The rolling motion beneath me gave me some insight into the physical nature of my direction but otherwise I was a helpless captive to the environment relentlessly unfolding in front of me.
Such a cacophony of noise. We dived onwards into this extreme reality and all I could do was hold on tightly to the straps across me and, indeed, to my own sanity. A huge rumbling cubed mass screamed past us sending a cold gush of wind into my face. A squawking cloud of chatter floated past my left side. I could only grab a glimpse of the towering collection of clattering wide eyed fiends gesturing wildly at the air. More noise from the right. A clanging screeching box flew past us with a headdress of sparkling, spinning lights. The noise was deafening. Such hideous madness.
We turned a corner and the landscape stretched out in front of us. The enormity of it. The scale of hideous adventure on all sides. The glaring piercing lights, the disharmonious noises, the shaking monotony beneath me, the untold terrors unseen on all sides and the constant overwhelming reeling attack on all my senses. We stopped all of a sudden. I heard Mummy’s voice behind me. Suddenly a looming face appeared in front of me. A toothless, unfamiliar smile danced furiously on it’s craggy, sunken surface. Heart racing I raised a tiny fist in defiance but the face only loomed closer. And closer. Disarmed yet defiant I screamed. I howled at this descending monster. That seemed to work. The carriage began moving again away from this fresh horror.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I closed my eyes to everything. I embraced the darkness and eventually fell asleep and in this I found some sanctuary.
I awoke to find myself at home once more surrounded by my trusted companions. With a dry throat, tired eyes, and open mouth I made my feelings clear to all that would listen. Freddie, the long legged dog, was in reach. I grabbed him by the belly and consumed his entire head. I felt comforted by his passive allegiance to me. The panic inducing afternoon was soon forgotten.
Sometimes you have to bite the dog to silence your fear. Sometimes you have to feel the world between your teeth to understand it.
Photo courtesy the author. All rights reserved.