Burning Woman

Sometime after two in the morning Odyne, the Greek goddess of pain, deems it a timely moment to drop into my body for an uninvited visit. She has formidable powers, this Odyne, the kind of skill and impact you wish she’d apply to other endeavours. Instead, here she is again, interfering with my healing, playing havoc with my body, and worst of all, setting fire to my left buttock. The sensation defies description. Burn, baby, burn.

Perhaps a couple of hours pass before I manage to fall back into a battered sleep. And then, shortly before eight o’clock in the morning, as if she had not wrought enough damage already, Odyne reappears, piercing my glutes with something akin to a blacksmith’s forging tool. Sizzle!!

Dazed and suffused from the excruciating pain, I figure I must be hallucinating when I suddenly hear singing from afar. But soon it dawns on me that the tune itching itself into my ear is not a figment of my imagination. It really is GG – a.k.a. “The G-Man” in cub scout circles – who, just a month shy of his eighth birthday, is roaming around his bedroom, belting out James Taylor’s Shed a Little Light while getting dressed for school.

How fitting, I think, still tossing and turning in my half-reverie. Shed a little light, indeed. Into my burning body, and entice that force of nature, Odyne, to please take a hike.

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