Creative Nonfiction: Brain Puzzle for You by Susan Hatters Friedman

4 ACROSS. The police officer tells you that the other driver, who slammed into you at 100km per hour, will probably lose their ______ for a while, because somebody could’ve gotten really hurt. You try not to focus on what the police officer thinks you are if really hurt doesn’t apply to your (2 DOWN).

7 DOWN. When the authorities hear your ______ accent, they suddenly begin asking if you were driving on the wrong side of the road. You most certainly were not, and there are a lot of witnesses. But you realize you don’t sound too convincing in your current state.

10 ACROSS. You are taken on a _______ in an ambulance. When they ask you how old you are, they think you are confused and it becomes apparent even to your now addled (2 DOWN) that they think your daughter is your sister and they ask if they can call both of your parents. This seems like a riddle to you because how could they possibly call both your daughter’s parents (you) and your own parents in one phone call? You try to explain that you just look young.

1 DOWN. In the Emergency Department, when they ask who is your __________ for their paperwork, you have a long think about your life. You might even fall back asleep because you are so (5 DOWN).

13 ACROSS. ______ is both a symptom you have now, and your favorite U2 album.

6 ACROSS. Thousands of tiny pieces of ______ fall from your body when you stand up for the first time, to painfully walk out of the Emergency Department with your friends. You seem to remember from medical training that a really important test should have been to ask you to walk. Oh well, it seems like you can walk, and you feel guilty about the _____ but you are going to fall over from the (13 ACROSS) if you have to lean over.

5 DOWN. You are so ______when you get home that you sleep for days. Which is funny because you hadn’t been _____ at all before the crash, and you slept the whole time in the Emergency Department. Or were you going in and out of consciousness?

9 DOWN. With what happened to your neck, you need to wear a neck brace for months. Every day, to not draw attention to yourself like someone in a lawyer commercial, you cover it up with a ______ that you now buy even though you have never been a _____-wearer before in your life.

11 ACROSS. Traumatic brain injury is the fancy medical term for _______.

12 DOWN. A friend starts saying numbers in a rapid fire order, and telling you to sum the last two. Apparently it is a test when someone gets knocked out in ______. This seems like another riddle to you, but you can tell by the look on his face that you are not solving this one either.

8 ACROSS. You cry so long when you realize that you are no longer witty, you are not making quips or jokes or definitely any ________which would require remembering things from earlier in the conversation.

3 ACROSS. You are so (5 DOWN). that you seem to forget your daughter’s ________.  You will never forget it again but you will feel like shit about it every year.

2 DOWN. You realize that your _______ is the most important organ in your body.

Susan Hatters Friedman is a psychiatrist specializing in forensic psychiatry and maternal mental health. She is pursuing a Master’s in Crime Fiction at the University of Cambridge. Her recent creative writing can be read on The Dillydoun Review and Love in the Time of Covid Chronicle, and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys.








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One response to “Creative Nonfiction: Brain Puzzle for You by Susan Hatters Friedman

  1. Pingback: Introducing Our New Column, “It’s an experiment! Hybrid how-tos with Arden Hunter” | JMWW·

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