Let the sound play over and over again in your head.

 

(the thump a bat makes when it hits the ball)

 

If you listen closely, you’ll hear it. Drown out the voices of people, mute the distant hum of traffic, pretend the sirens aren’t there. You’ll hear the thump thump thump of a bat knocking a ball, 80 times a minute, non-stop.

 

Trace it down roads of silent traffic to Wilson & Keele. Follow the echo to Humber River Hospital, where it’s a matter of hitting the ball, not catching it. And in room 209, bed 5, is the source of the thumping.

 

It’ll drive you crazy if you listen to the cough of tuberculous lungs and the statistics on why your son’s unlikely to make it to twelve. But listen only to the thumps of perseverance and maybe you’ll teach your own heart the rhythm to keep thumping. Just in case it ever forgets how.


Illustrator: Zoe Cheng