The Fishbone

Filed Under (Creative Non Fiction) by Estee on 13-11-2009

“We all take for granted the little miracles,” she said afterwards there, in the dark.

She said it after I pulled out the fishbone from my throat – about an inch and a bit long. I did it outside, after they said the meal was on the house, choking next to the kitchen asking for help quietly.

“You should have seen your face,” her eyebrows furrowed with worry, “it was going red.”

It was my usual fish – the filet of sole that I always ask to be de-boned. We were enjoying an evening out, two single women — admiring, being admired and that’s enough for the soul to ride on after a long swim in the dark. Just opening up can be enough. Opening my mind, my world, my eyes and the whole world smiles with me.

Until…I choked.

On a fishbone.

Almost choked to death as we headed to emerg.


And then I pulled the little bugger out, giving the term “dig deep” a whole new meaning, there, outside on the sidewalk away from the people, wondering if this little fishbone “was it.” This little soft bone the thread between air and breathlessness.

“We can never take for granted the little miracles that happen every day,” she said again, shaking her life-affirming head and pursing her lips. “You better frame that thing.”

Perhaps I should as the little reminder of being one step away from floating with the fishes.


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (, and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.