Wednesday, November 13, 2013

One terrible thing

In a story I was reading today came the question: What is the most terrifying thing that ever happened to you?

This is hard because you really have to mine your memory. As always I am afraid I will give the wrong answer and that once I give an answer that I won’t be able to change it, as if there were some superpower somewhere keeping track. Of course this is counter-productive and neurotic and prevents the person questioned (me) from even approaching the question, being so preoccupied about the conditions. I had the same problem last month when a friend asked me to name my three favorite Elvis Costello songs were. (WAS NOT ABLE.)

Anyway, I tried to get over that and can tell you one of the first things that comes to my mind, the thing that sifts to the top early on in the memory-mining. 

For Easter I go with my husband and kids (6 and 4?) to London to visit friends. In turn we are invited to friends of theirs for dinner and we set out on the tube to a balmy, upscale suburb. On the way, we arrive at a stop and our friend remembers at the last moment that we should get out. We frantically jump out, grabbing all our stuff, which is voluminous since they have a small child and our children are also not big. We are on the platform with baby buggy, etc. and all, and suddenly she says, “NO! This is the wrong stop!” and exhorts us all to jump back on to the train. 

We do. I am a bit annoyed but to top it off as I am turning around I notice that my daughter is still on the platform and I haven’t a second to do anything but gear up to freak when she realizes herself that she must get in urgently and she takes a long-legged leap through the closing doors, the swoosh of which is burned into my brainplate, and I am so grateful and at the same time (perhaps unjustly) pissed off that I nearly left my daughter behind at an abandoned stop in a foreign city. 

But I didn’t.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I'm pretty sure this was the right answer!

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