the thin line between belief and delusion

To my ten-year-old self, my father once made a comment
on my habit of crawling myself together like an embryo
to get to sleep.

He said, alluding to my small size, no one could grow, sleeping in such a position. It was meant as a joke. How could anyone, twisted like this at night, grow?, he asked, winking at me, closing the door tenderly the way I liked it – a little gap left open, so the light could still enter the room.

But I took it seriously.

I thought about it – Could it be that my sleeping habit really stopped me from growing? Perhaps it had a huge effect on my bones or something. Totally made sense. Of course it had!

And I stretched out.

Every night, from that night on, I stretched my full small self and tried to sleep, laying completely straight and uncomfortable. Dozing off, I thought about hanging weights on my feet while holding myself somewhere high, on some monkey bars maybe, so my bones would be forced to grow. But this remained a dream.

I did grow then, slowly and not much, but I did. Maybe I would have grown bigger if I had realized that last idea.

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