Friday, May 18, 2007

612 days, 1 hours, 57 minutes, 24 seconds

She scratches her head. Wishes now she'd washed better. She can almost feel the two lesions under the surface.

In camp, fifty years ago, she recalls other kids getting ticks in their hair, and was disappointed when counselors examined and just told her to wash better.

She twirls a dirty strand around a dirty finger. Last summer her greatest fear was of Lyme disease.

612 days, 14 hours, 52 minutes, 30 seconds

She's cold. She was cold yesterday also. Knowing how hot she gets, she'd asked the attendant to turn off the heater in her holding cell yesterday, then wrapped up in a blanket and had to call someone to turn the heat back on. Now, in the waiting cell at the hospital, she's cold again. And she never gets cold.

612 days, 15 hours, 42 minutes, 39 seconds

On the morning of her lung biopsy, she notices Dopey's cymbal has fallen off. The little leather strap crumples in her hand. The car service can't make it and the first cab they find doesn't notice her. They wait ten minutes and finally get another cab. The guard downstairs at the hospital greets them warmly. She'll have to find a small leather strap. Or a shoelace.

613 days, 12 hours, 54 minutes, 55 seconds

One of her students, years ago, talked about a poem she wrote at one of the workshops. After that she got sick and was running from doctor to doctor, held onto her sanity by having that poem along with her, sitting in waiting rooms revising it. She's used that example with class after class, never dreamed she'd be applying it to her own life. And it wasn't sanity E. was hanging onto, more a sense of self. E. was always sane. That's what she has to remember.