Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Things You Probably Don't Think About, But We Have to, 3:

Mr F hits his head sometimes.

He hits it pretty hard, sometimes, as though he's mad at his own head, his own mind. I sometimes will stumble on a word or forget the name of something, mid-sentence, and when I do, I have this urge to reach up and slap my forehead, like I can shake the thought loose. I wonder sometimes if Mr F's head-hitting is a similar thing to that: like he is so mad at what his mind is up to he is trying to shake it out of something.

But we don't know.

What we do know, Sweetie and I, is the look he gets, the feeling he has, just before he does it. He will pause, sometimes, and tense up, and lean his head a certain way.  Often he will close his eyes. Sometimes he makes a strangled little sound.

And when we see these signs, we put our own hands, or arms, in front of his head, to absorb the blow. It's not uncommon to see one of us sitting on the couch next to him, or in the car, an arm outstretched, palm over his forehead as though we're checking his temperature, while he beats on our hands with his fists, as hard as he can, over and over again.

We hold it there, until the tumult ends. We have bruised hands, Sweetie and I. We have sore knuckles and tender spots on our arms. We joke about how he will give us arthritis.

But we still watch out for that moment, when it becomes to much for Mr F, and we still stick our hand out, taking the blows he meant for himself.

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