are driving through town as you would on any given day when
you first become aware of the burning smell. You open the
car window and, almost without thinking, pull over to the
side of the road. You reach for your cell phone, but you
can't remember where the numbers are stored. A child is
screaming. You recognize your son's voice, only you know
he's much older now. You see him running down a hallway
as fire licks the walls behind him. You pick him up and
run out the front door, the sound of sirens cutting through
the haze of smoke. Then the smoke clears and you find yourself
standing on the sidewalk, next to your car, the phone still
in your hands.
smell of smoke drifts away. No one is in danger. Your son
is off at college. You were probably just smelling someone's
burnt breakfast from a nearby home. You lean against your
car and try to breathe slowly.
excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission
from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks
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