I have spent the last week or so trying to figure out how to do this. I am writing around it, hoping that the story manages to do that thing that stories do and open itself up to me. I think it will happen, but it is trying my patience.
I may just be to focused on the story that inspired that part, my own grandfathers death and a death I know I am not responsible for, but have felt spiritually tied to since the actual event.
My grandfather died on a family (extended family) trip to the Galapagos. We were in the middle of nowhere, on a wooden gaff-rigged sailing ketch built in 1901 and called the Sulidae when things started happening.
But the tie I feel to that story begins 24 hours before…
I went to bed. Early.
Those were very unlike me. I was a habitual night owl… even at the tender age of 8.
I slept for 24 hours.
I awoke with a strange feeling in my stomach, which I attributed to hunger. No one from my family was on the boat as they were all visiting an island. The crew was having their early dinner so the cabin would be free for the rest of us to have dinner in upon our return, and when I told them I was hungry they asked me to join them. The crew teased me about sleeping so long as we ate rice with lentils and fried plantains and avocado. I laughed.
As we were finishing up, we heard the boat bringing everyone back and cleaned up. I ran up to the deck to meet them, and they told me tales about the day’s adventure.
That night my grandfather passed away. I was exceptionally clear-headed and well rested as everything happened.
Every time since that event, I have noticed a strange peculiarity.
When I sleep an unusually long amount of time, someone dies.
My grandmother – 18 hours
My great aunt – 14 hours (her husband 12)
My great uncle – 15 hours (his wife 14 hours)
Those are the only times I slept like that, even as a teen where 10 seemed to be m y upper limit for
So, I am wondering if this section is so hard to write because there is something so tied in with my own grandfathers death in a way that makes me feel like I played a role, though I am firm in knowing I was not responsible for his death.