My Dad played an instrument. It was long, and brown (I had since achieved technicolour), and at one end sort of fat, the other skinny. When he hit it, it made a lovely sound, summoning tiny winged caricatures of the instrument that flew with gaiety amongst my downy babymane. I reacted appropriately, as one should to live music, by giggling and smashing my hands into my stuffed green toy that wailed in terror as I beat it savagely. He sometimes used this odd ticking contraption, that beat with furious regularity and mesmerizing pace, alongside his playing. He called it a "metronome". (If you wonder why I don't admit to the instrument being a guitar, my answer would be that children seldom care about the little things in life. Since when is a guitar, of all the garish instruments constructed by man, owed the same importance to be recognized by any iteration of my mind, in comparison the magnetising, ebb-and-flow enormity of the metronome? Fools.).
This vox deusi, this metronome, beat endlessly at the taut screen of my conscious, thrumming across the seams and vibrating my essence, as I sat, with sublime carelessness in a delightful concentric expansion of attention. What must have been my entire extended family ringed my; they were perched in a variety of manners upon an equally eclectic mix of seating. One haggard crone achieved the studious languidness of age hilariously strained against her eagerness and craning head stretched well beyond the limits of it's neck. Upon a stool transported from the far marches of the family shed loomed a falcon-wing-browed uncle, imperious yet unfortunately slightly out of my current visual scope, thus appearing as a particularly frightening fuzzy pole.
Between us, my rotund infant body and the throbbing masses beyond, sat a ring of such worthless importance that it sometimes makes me shudder when I recall my fabricated memories of the event. As I have mentioned, my culture practices a divination ceremony: agra hadig. It means something, no doubt. In Armenian, if you hadn't guessed, or googled it. Essentially, the child, upon the arrival of their first tooth, it placed in the centre of a ring of symbolic items. These items determine the child's future occupation. In a normal Armenian family (incidentally, Artemis - my name - isn't a normal Armenian name.), these items represent generally desirable jobs: a knife for a surgeon, a tape measure for an architect, a pack of condoms for a stud (forgive me), but, as luck could not pass up the opportunity to laugh hellishly at me from her stupid imaginary pedestal, my family was not a normal, Armenian family. The items presented to me were far, very far, so unwholesomely far from normal, that well, it makes it all that more plausible that they might actually determine my future.