Archive for the ‘susie moloney’ Category

 

What is the nature of the wound?   

Mags took a first aid class at the end of second year. It was kind of a goof at the time, she and Kathy Krommit signing up because the instructor was cute. Neither of them ended up dating him or anything cool like that, but some of the instruction had stuck to her like the tiny balls under the arms of a favourite knit sweater, virtually invisibly.

What is the nature of the wound? For a puncture, apply pressure to stop bleeding. For a stab wound, apply pressure to stop bleeding. For a gash, apply pressure to stop bleeding.

She and Krom joked that they learned everything they needed to know: apply pressure to stop bleeding. For months afterward they approached every problem with that simple equation:

What is the nature of the wound?

Apply pressure.

Stop the bleeding.

If the wound was an exam, applying pressure was studying, the bleeding stopped. If the wound was a hangover, they applied ibuprophen (and orange juice), until the bleeding stopped.  Following each solution they would shout we are doctors! We have successfully cured the patient!

There was a magical period when the two of them had bonded into something that went beyond friends, even family, one of those deep bonds that can only come of serious and painful shared experience. In this case it was that year of university and shared quarters, no money, constant expectation from the outside. During that time, it became a shorthand: red eyes, strained expression, furrowed brow one or the other would say: Wound. Once the wound was discovered, the appropriate pressure could be applied, and the bleeding stopped.

Mags and Krom lost touch after school. Krom would pop up in Mags’ newsfeeds from time to time and if she was feeling nostalgic post-3rd glass of wine, she might write on Krom’s wall we should get together! Krom would occasionally do the same on her wall. They never did, of course.

Then in July a year ago, Mags got a private message from Krom. It was brief and elegant in its dread. It was one word.

Wound.

Mags looked at it daily for a week or so. Then forgot it was there. Then when it did come to mind, she convinced herself that she’d replied. By that time, dozens of messages pushed Krom out of the view window and it was, with effort, just entirely forgotten.

Except for when it wasn’t. Late at night when all personal failings are discussed openly inside the head; in the shower after dark nights, trying to wash away the hangover and regrets; rare moments when some dumb thing reminded Mags of the simplicity of her uni years, like the smell of someone eating Ramen in the lunch room.

Then it was too late to respond, wasn’t it? Lame to suddenly respond a year later omg never saw this could not be followed with what is the nature of the wound? Not a year later. Not between drinks 5 and 6, when Mags’ own bleeding was internal.

: for Debbie

 

Susie Moloney was born and raised on the wrong side of the tracks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first novel, Bastion Falls was published in 1995, and re-released in 1997 following the massive success of her second novel, A Dry Spell. A Dry Spell sold in 18 countries, translated into 12 languages. Subsequent novels The Dwelling and The Thirteen, were all published in multiple countries and languages. She has published one collection, Things Withered, stories. A lifelong film and television freak, she made the reckless decision to change lanes in 2013 and now writes television and film. Married to playwright Vern Thiessen, they are happily raising a cranky, smelly, sickly, blind dog named Scrappy.

 

♦♦♦

Up Next:

“I care. I care, I care, I care, I care.”

Advertisements