I’ve only almost fainted once. It was at the allergy doctor during a test. The nurses had put traces of tree nuts on my forearm and into my bloodstream and then left me in the office for a few minutes to see how badly I would react to them. I hadn’t eaten much that day, or the previous few months. And watching a stranger poke the one thing that could kill me into my veins had set me on edge. Waiting for fifteen minutes as the rashes became bigger and bigger was driving my imagination crazy. Eventually rationality left me. I became convinced that my body was too weak to handle even the tiny nut traces that the nurses had injected into me and I was going to go into anaphylactic shock and die. I asked my mom for some water and then told her my ears were ringing and everything was getting blurry. She yelled for the nurses and the ringing grew louder. Bright, blurry forms of concerned women stood over me. I knew what was happening, and I was so ready for it. Yes, let me pass out. Let me lose consciousness for a while. Let my life be these women’s problem. They’ll take care of me.
And suddenly, a glowing old man was above me. He seemed irritated.
“What are you doing? Cut it out,” he said. “Stop that.”
And immediately, reluctantly, I stopped.
I obeyed that guy like a freaking solider. Now conscious, I stared at him in awe.
I’ll never forget that moment when the doctor entered my shiny vision in all his towering glory and commanded me to wake up. It wast the rudest, most profound act of compassion I have ever experienced.
There are so many things I could say about this moment. But it’s late and I’m tired of writing, so for now I’ll say this:
I wanted to escape, but this man wouldn’t let me.
Being the bad guy doesn’t make you a bad guy. Sometimes it makes you the good guy, the hero.
Nothing is black and white.
I’m a bad judge of…everything.
God knows better.