Thursday, February 15, 2007

704 days, 12 hours, 42 minutes, 58 seconds

Maybe twelve minutes away from seeing the doctor. Diabetes medications start today. Or tomorrow. This is the day she's been dreading for the past five years. But she's past controlling. Three inches of snow on the ground, and it's crippled the city more than a foot normally does. It's insane. Leaving the apartment this morning, she saw a penny on the hall carpet, got as far as the elevator before going back for it. Maybe everyone's luck will change.

705 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, 20 seconds

A man comes in with a large bouquet of flowers. With coat, scarf, and computer case, it's hard to know what to do with them. She recalls another man she saw with flowers. It was in October 2000, at the airport, in Minneapolis, and they'd missed the connecting flight. These were for the lady back home, a single rose. They chatted on the van to the hotel -- he, she, her husband, and two Arab pilots they picked up at the Mall of America.

705 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes, 40 seconds

As Hamlet would say, the play's the thing. Still, they like to eat well. She orders wine, gets the bread, waits for him. A Valentine's Day menu, then the regular menu. Steak, she supposes. Sirloin or rib eye. Outside, on Central Park South, a man delivers flowers. It's early yet. Tulips, not roses, on the table, but at least red tulips. Filet mignon is only on the specials menu. And no chateaubriand. She remembers, forty years ago, the country restaurant and the boy-man who tried to teach her this steak for two was what love is.