This is a longish reading (nearly 15 minutes) from Always. Aud, as many of you know, lives in--loves living in--her body. Physically, she's supremely competent; she's confident, seamless, an elemental force. She has never encountered a person or situation she can't handle. Until she travels to Seattle to meet her mother and her mother's new husband. While she's in Seattle Aud, being Aud, gets tangled up in a real estate fraud. The Bad Hats try put her out of action by doping her coffee. This dope isn't just one little thing, not, say, a single dose of rohypnol. It's a wicked grab bag of ingredients: PCP, meth, barbiturates, psilocybin, even a random assortment of chemo drugs. Aud ends up in hospital, physically helpless for several days. For the first time, she's a victim.
Aud's physical confidence and competence has always been her bedrock, the one thing she can rely on. And someone takes it away.
She's weak, dizzy, breathless, even having flashbacks. She worries that next time she encounters someone or something dangerous, she won't be able to rely on herself, on her superb body.
When she gets out of hospital, and then convalesces for a few more days, she finds herself feeling very physically and emotionally uncertain. She decides to find a local dojo in Seattle, a friendly place to put herself to the test. Enjoy.