I wanted to be a world traveler in search of my beloved Dulcinea, like Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Getting greedy about the future, I was turning green in the moment with malaise. An inquiring explorer, I always carried a journal under my arm, constantly put pen to page and recorded my intrepid accounts with the silver fountain pen I found under scattered brown leaves. If my mother would have read those pages, she may have had second thoughts about my mental health. A wise woman, she preferred not to instigate.
One evening, coffee brown eyes looking over his foster grants my father asked, “What do you write about all day and all night?”
“A novel,” I responded biting my lower lip.
“Mariel, you are only nine. What could you possibly know about life?”
“It is not about how young I am, but about how much I’ve lived in this short time.”
Left jaw hanging, he never again asked further questions.
I had to write my life down. So many questions gleamed in the dark. Why do I sleepwalk and wake up in the roof? Why did we leave our island? When am I going to see my grandfather? Why do I have these awful nightmares? Why are my dreams so lucid it appears I am living in another place? Why do dead people feel the urge to communicate? In which of these inner worlds do I rather live? The one outside is a bit deranged.