Wednesday, June 27, 2007

572 days, 5 hours, 31 minutes, 57 seconds

Riddled. It sounds like a child's guessing game.

572 days, 5 hours, 53 minutes, 43.2 seconds

Unable to stay awake, despite a nap after lunch (naps are for two-year-olds). She snacks on grapes (screw the diabetes) then grabs her second iced tea of the day (screw the headaches). Actually it's diet Lipton white tea with raspberry flavoring. And quite possibly less caffeine than regular tea (last summer she was drinking green tea, thinking it had more caffeine, not less). She thinks of afternoons like this, thirty-five years ago, when a friend who lived nearby often stopped over on his way home, and she'd make tea, and they'd sit and talk. Like old women, she thinks now. She was maybe twenty-five. She experimented with different teas back in those days – black teas, flavored teas, herbal. He taught her how to boil mu tea. He glued a leg of her table that had come loose. Then he left town. Then he died of cancer. His body riddled with it. Actually living years longer than anyone expected.

572 days, 12 hours, 48 minutes, 37 seconds

She turns to each day's news, especially now, to move the focus away from her petty aches and pains. Mostly the news is political. Bush, at least, gives her a good laugh. But today she's buried her head in another story: Florida Man Wakes Up With Headache, Later Finds Bullet in Head. It was 4:30 a.m when he woke in agony. His wife drove him to the hospital. When they found the bullet they immediately thought it was a stray, rare in his upscale neighborhood. His wife drove home to see if she could find a hole in the wall where it entered. Doctors said the bullet had been shot at close range. She claimed it was an accident.

And here she is, in her country house, alone, for this week between surgeries. She thinks of her husband taking off work for every doctor. Her husband waking at three a.m., four a.m., five a.m. just to hold her. Her husband not wanting to leave her side. Not wanting her to leave him.

So much for getting away.