There was a burst of gunfire. The male presenter looked in the direction of the mountains and the camera followed. “Do not worry, it's the shepherds,” explained the Greek host with a nonchalant expression, “in Crete we like our guns.” And as evening came on more rounds were fired.
televised scene, that exchange imprinted itself without me realising
it. Yes, I'd been a little surprised, not thinking the Greek were so
gun-toting or so enamoured of them, but not enough, so I thought, for
it to become lodged. My brain obviously thought otherwise, took a
greater interest in that fact than I had acknowledged, so that I
recalled it months later. Long before my recounting of it here.
was the reason for this recall, the original recollection?
brain detonated. As if a bullet had ripped a hole, and I, the
waitress couldn't keep the soup in the soup bowl. It liberally and
indiscriminately spilled its contents. But you have to understand I
hadn't been shot from the outside, by someone waving a revolver; the
shot had come from inside and if there had been a demonic figure in
there brandishing a gun I'd be the last to know. It does seem
unlikely that this could be so, but also that I wouldn't know or that
I'd be the last to discover the fact, especially if other people had
their suspicions, though the brain (as I admit now) would be the
ideal place to hide.
it wasn't a pistol at all, but a rifle or a crudely made bomb. Again
I have no first-hand experience of such weaponry or such items sold
for gang warfare of the type you pull out whenever you feel
threatened. I'm English; guns make me nervous, even if it's the
police carrying them, which means I can only compare with what I've
seen and heard through a screen, whose effects might be further
neutered or exaggerated by my interpretation of how that might sound
or how it might feel to be hit. However, it's sufficient to say that
whatever fired the shot or exploded that day I was the prime target.
Perhaps on any other day I would have been too, unless there was a
trigger: something outside of myself that sabotaged the normal firing
of information in my brain and effectively pulled the pin out.
meticulous and miscellaneous filing suddenly stopped; the system
blown to pieces. My eyes momentarily blinded by a bright flash so
that I was only aware of my terrified heart, then my ears begun to
ring deafening the thudding and my head began its strange hypnotic
song; a song that months later is still playing on a constant loop,
just fainter and fainter, and yet will not be sent packing. My doctor
has diagnosed it as tinnitus but I'm not so sure, it's unlike any
tinnitus I've had before; this has a tune like something my
grandmother used to sing and soothes and annoys in equal measure,
plus it seems to come from inside my head, not my ears, and yet my
doctor declares her diagnosis can't be wrong: heads don't whistle.
should you be concerned about that, the damage done and the long road
to recovery, when it's the moment of detonation that always grabs
people's interest? What you really want me to do is continue my
description of what being in the thick of it was like.
nothing like you're imagining. There was no billowing smoke, no
burning flames, no tumbling bodies, no oozing blood that trickled
then streamed; aside from the loud crack of the blast, which it
appeared only I seemed to hear, I appeared uninjured, but struck dumb
according to eyewitness accounts.
as inwardly I was fully thinking, feeling and present, in awe of what
I was bearing witness to. My eyes, by now adjusted to the dark, were
mesmerised by a shower of coloured sparks which would dart away if
followed, and all that remained of the intestines of my brain (whole,
the brain looks like compacted guts) was a debris of bolts, screws,
and broken glass - basically everything I ever thought and every
stored useful or useless nugget of information was in that rubble.
fell swoop the world as I'd conceived it had been razed to its ground
level, to that of a child.
Picture Credit: Exploding Raphaelesque Head, 1951, Salvador Dali
'If intelligence does not exist at birth, it will not exist at all.' - Dali -