Prefatory statement: The Changeling was at school and is fine. The Spriggan was in the car but is completely, 100% fine and is happily banging pot lids at the moment. I’m shaken, but fine. My husband is also fine. We are all fine.
The lane of traffic stopped, we turned. We were listening to Classical WCRB, vaguely wishing they’d have more interesting programming, as usual. Suddenly, a car is going down the next lane, and we collide. The Spriggan screams, crying, scared, and I think, “I have to get that baby out.” Then I notice the car is genuinely, actually, substantially damaged. “Huh,” I think, “after all the Bostonian near misses, it happened.” I do, finally, get the baby out, and as I do, I realize it’s that I want him out of the car, away from the road, away from vehicles. A kind lady sees me shakily clutching my chubby little Spriggan and tells me her house is right over here, can she help me. I ask if I can sit in the chair I see outside, away from the cars, away from the road, and soothe my baby. She is happy to help.
It’s so quiet, even steps away, because not seeing the cars makes them feel quiet. I nurse the Spriggan. He babbles away. Eventually I realize my husband might not see me. He’s with the car. I stand and wave. My legs feel rubbery. He’s glad to see me, the police thought we’d disappeared, but we were steps away, not miles.
Without a car, without the miles eaten by the road, my mental landscaped unfolded, a huge, uncharted territory like the world in an apple seed.
And I thought: “OK, now it’s time to share Kaleidoscope by Brian Selznick more widely, because this, exactly this, is the story of the non-narrative.”
Today is October 22. You have until the end of Hallowe’en. On November 1, 2021, I will randomly select one of you to win a copy of Kaleidoscope, and I will mail it to you, worldwide. (I mean that. I’ve mailed to Antarctica. I will mail to you.)
What do I want? Tell me about one time in your life when your world narrowed physically, but expanded mentally.
Email me at email@example.com or comment here. I’ll choose the winner on November 1! Let me know if you have a question.