Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A Pajamas NJ middle school closes on the eve of her surgery because dirt contaminated with chlordane has been found adjacent to the school property. A fourteen year-old boy shows up today wearing a gas mask. A twelve year-old stayed home with yet another headache. School officials knew about the problem for months and never told anyone. It's just to kill termites. And hasn't been used in years. They say children would have to eat lots of this contaminated dirt every day for seventy years in order to suffer harm. But she knows better.
And she thinks of how half a grapefruit and an English muffin, toasted dark, used to be her staple at the coffee shop. Then they put her on Zocor. Then they put her on Glucophage. Fed up? the small print at the bottom of the sign asks, directing her to honest advice about weight loss. She's fed up.
At Popover for what might be the last lunch of her life. They seat her by a window, a dirty Teddy bear on the ledge behind her head. And she thinks of Mary again, in Berkeley, those Teddy bears over her head. She orders her favorite here – Waldorf salad, actually they call it What's Up Waldorf on the menu. Probably because it has a lot of shredded carrots. What's Up, Doc?
On the news tonight (last night), they talk about 1,075 killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since last Memorial Day. So there are all sorts of deaths. And, she supposes, many of those killed would have had all sorts of medical problems had they been kept alive. And that's 1,075 Americans killed. As if the other deaths don't matter. Countries, like people, can get so caught up in themselves... It's ridiculous.