I thought I was going to die on July 25th. It was not a destined date, rather a number shooting forth like a musical note from a crazed fiddle player. I was held against my will in a number seven apartment, on a number seven street. I fell at seven pm on the seventh day of the seventh hour on a date adding up to seven. I was in a new cycle of seven, according to numerology. I wasn’t at sixes and sevens’ only sevens! Out of curiosity, I investigated and believe that it must have meaning.
The other day, I visited a friend’s cafe and opened a delightful magazine, called Happinez. Can you believe, they had a story on July 25th? It is termed an Out of Time day. The old year ends the day before and the new year begins the day afterward. The Sun and Sirius are aligned on July 25th, which is why the date has relevance. Google it!
As much as I find all this research into the significance of numbers fascinating, July 25th also brings up memories. It is winter in Australia, and the nights can be bitterly cold. I recall I was dressed in white trousers and jumper. I never dress in white, and wonder why I had on this particular evening. Everything seemed to happen so quickly. Being jostled up the stairwell, trying to talk him down. Being choked into unconsciousness. The fall. The fall seemed to defy time as I understood it. Waking on the ground and having him attempt to finish me off.
Every year a feeling of discontent rises in me, particularly since I have become a parent. You see everything differently, including your own trauma. Memories re-emerge as winter chills my bones. The hand-woven blanket I had shaken to refresh, has now been pulled close to my body, cocooning me. Normally, I would retreat on July 25th. I have always felt the need to mark it in some manner. I have been back to the site, and left flowers. I have written that young girl poetry. I light candles and give thanks that I am here. I have been to dinners with my daughter and danced in celebration of having survived.
He brought me to that dark building with the intention of killing me. He had decided that I would not see July 26th. A cacophony of emotions rattle inside my soul. I need to hold the numinous creature I birthed close, and give thanks. I am so grateful that I got to grow up. I feel despair, rage and everything in between. So many surgeries. Hundreds of hours of physical therapy, body braces and casts, wheelchairs and Intensive Care Units. A lifetime of physical pain. Weakened lungs and renal system. A small fortune in medical bills. This is the legacy.
It is also a day of defiance. It may have been marked as the day I would die, at all of fifteen years of age, but I still got to decide the lightness of my being. I look back and am amazed at how brave I was. I was cheeky, with a serving of bravado on the side. He couldn’t take the ‘Raphiness’ out of me.
I was online recently, and saw tickets for the Helpmann Awards, Australia’s night to honor standouts in theatre. I promptly got tickets for my daughter and I. Tonight, as the clock strikes seven pm, I will remember the girl who fell. I will be celebrating theatre of another kind, the little girl from my dreams by my side.