Louis E. Bourgeois
August 2014 Flashes
Epilepsy Has a Cause
A crowd of grown ups were standing around on the grassy shore watching someone pulling in a fish. I walked over to see what was going on; I heard someone say it was a garfish. I wasn’t but maybe three years old and I don’t remember ever seeing a fish before. It had glowing eyes and wooden wheels; it was spiting fire out of its nose and mouth; it was a terrible thing to see and I fainted onto the soft Bermuda grass. I woke a minute later and all the grown ups were standing over me in a circle. What happened Lucas? Get up boy, it’s all right, it’s only a gar, he’s not going to eat you, you need to get off the ground, it’s getting dark. But it was already dark, too dark. I was already ruined for life; darkness had made a home in me much earlier than most people. That night I dreamed of the garfish in all its horribleness, until I foamed at the mouth and they had to take me to the hospital because I was biting my tongue hard and covering the sheets with blood. Later, the doctors said there wasn’t a thing wrong with me.
How wrong they were....
Louis E. Bourgeois is the Executive Director of VOX PRESS, a 501 (c) 3 arts organization based in Oxford, Mississippi. His award winning memoir, The Gar Diaries, was re-published in 2013 in England by The Other Publishing Company. Bourgeois is also co-founder and director/instructor of the Prison Writes Initiative, a creative arts program designed for Mississippi inmates. His Collected Works is slated for publication in 2016 by Xenos Press.