house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Nerve, Neutral

'What's that man got?' Kira asks.
'Back problems.' Conversation closed.
'Something to do with his SPINE?' New word, new knowledge. Beams with pride.
'Something like that.' Conversation concluded once again.
'What? What?' Conversation re-opened.
Sigh. Small silence. Sigh.
'You know how your spine is made up of vertebrae?'
'You know, those disc-like things, like beads on a string, that make up your spine?'
'OH yeah, those.' Blank face.
'Well, two of those things got too close together and trapped a nerve.'
'A what?'
Explanation required. But what's a nerve? Quick, something.
'A nerve, you know. A nerve, well actually lots of nerves go to all the parts of your body like little feelers, and if something happens to your finger, let's say a thorn, they run all the way back to the spine and tell it about the pain of the thorn and all, and the spine takes the message to the brain and that's when YOU find out something's happened to your finger.'
'And then you look and take your hand away from the thorny bush and take the thorn out and pay more attention next time.'
'Ahhh. And if it's a fire?'
'The same happens. They quickly run with the message to your head. You get away from the fire. They tell the spine about any kind of pain.'
Something occurs to me. They're not such great things, nerves. All that pain, wouldn't it be better left alone, why does the brain, why do WE need to know in such detail about it? I conclude:
'They're not that great, nerves, are they?'
'Hmmmm', agrees Kira, deep in thought. Then:
'Don't they tell the brain about nice stuff too?'
Of course. Silly mother. Now thinking: warm bath. Salt and sand. Sunny meadow, the swishing of dry grass against the skin. Waves. Fingertips.
'They do. They do that too. Nice things, nerves, don't you think? Nice. Nasty. Nice again.'
Another new word lights up in Kira's eyes. The final word.


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