Sunday, 24 November 2013

I never fainted.
But, for some reason, I was weirdly obsessed about it as a teenager.
You know how when you're young and wonder with expectation about how your first time having sex will be like? I had that about fainting.





I was eagerly waiting for the special day I would lose my conscience for the first time and fall dramaticly on the floor.
I think what attracted me was the idea of a diferent state of mind. You're not dead, but not sleeping either. That was very seducing to 12 year old me (This was a long time before finding out I could induce a blackout with a few shots tequila. After that my curiosity about the unconsciousness kinda died.)
I knew all the symptoms, and although I had assured my mum I would put my head between my knees if I ever felt dizzy and light headed, deep down I knew I wouldn't. I wanted to try it.
And I was very sure I'd eventually have a chance to do so.

But I didn't.
Nevertheless, I was close to it for 2 occasions,
and both involved getting hit on the head.

First, in a Visual Arts class.
Any of you from portuguese school certainly know how EVT classes were madness. I have never met an EVT teacher that wasn't on a verge of a nervous breakdown.
For those who didn't experience it, imagine  30 hormone-pumped pre-teens, sitting together and making collages.

Bad things happen.

There was always a lot of confusion and very little boundaries. One day, for some reason, students were throwing their backpacks at each other. Zé wasn't even aiming for me, but his Eastpack hit the back of my head and I instantly felt very dizzy and my legs were all mushy. I thought "oh oh it's coming! it's my fainting first time.!!"
Unfortunately, I got so excited about the imminence of a fainting episode I started feeling better.

The teachers rushed me out of the classroom (yes, there's 2 teachers in EVT classes. I'm pretty sure it's for riot control purposes), and I was excused for the rest of the lesson. This would be a good thing if it didn't mean spending 45 minutes sipping tea in the "infirmary".
I'm writting quotation marks on that because in spite of being called an infirmary it was just a little room with a bench and posters about the dangers of alcohol. There wasn't any nurse. Only a cranky cleaning lady who came by occasionally to check on me. She looked me up and down, decided I was too thin and proceded to lecture me on eating disorders and how my present condition (almost fainting from being hit on the head) was solely due to being weak from self-starvation. Little did this lady know that she was preparing me for the following 10 years of people making snap judgements about my eating habits and self-image.

so, thank you fake school nurse. you made me a stronger yet slightly jaded person.


But, back to the story, a year later, something similar happened:
Again, a classic wrong-place-wrong-time situation.

I was standing near the school's footbal field, talking with some friends, when one of the players shoot for the goal, and missed it.
The ball went straight to the back of my head. 

WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THIS HAPPENING?

Again, I felt everything shaking around me, this time I was one hundred percent sure I was going to collapse! So I declared "I'm FAINTING!" rather loudly, to my girl friends, who promptly picked me up and lay me on a bench, arguing about what to do next.
In retrospective, I doubt a lot of people scream "I'm fainting!" before doing so, but my friends believed. Some were going to call a teacher, another was confronting the footballer guy, and one waved a pack of sugar, in case I was having a hypoglissemic shock "I'm not fainting because of low blood sugar, LUÍSA! I JUST GOT HIT IN THE HEAD BY A PENALTY KICK THATS WHY I'M FAINTING!" I complained, like the ungrateful bitch I am.

I was ready to see my friends preocupied faces go blurry.
Maybe I would wake up in the hospital. Who knows..
Maybe my parents would be there, holding my hand.
It could be all very cinematic.
(this was before I saw the inside of Penafiel's public hospital, thanks to another school-induced-injury. I used to think all hospitals looked like Grey's Anatomy.) 

I waited for a white numbness to lead me to unconsciousness, but it never came.
I was wide awake, my neck hurt and the floor kept spinning.

Then, I started to worry.



For the rest of the morning, I felt like I was standing on a boat and couldn't stop my body from waving from side to side. The teachers noticed I was more discoordinated than usual and sent me home.

I missed school for almost a week (2 months in teenager time), during which I just walked around the house looking permanently tipsy.

Later a doctor told me my spine had suffered a very mild trauma that shook up my inner balance.
And fixed it.
I'm a very balanced person now, to prove so I took a serie of portraits of me equilibrating things on my head:

a wooden duck
a tiny fake lemon tree


a hygrometer + donald the duck VCR tape


1 comment:

  1. morri a rir a meio! o teu humor lembra-me os meus cadernos da escola e as trocas de desenhos com amigas.
    obrigada por me levares de volta à parte boa da adolescência!

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