Saturday, December 1, 2007
She imagines a diabetic coma at the stroke of midnight on her birthday. Everything else has gone wrong today. She takes her 23rd bite of zeppole, a gift from the waiter, reminds her husband again that if she’s even on a ventilator, not a respirator, she wants off. Don’t let them sweet-talk him into her being as good as before. This is before. The waiter didn’t know it was her birthday. Almost her birthday. She takes another bite. A coma might feel pretty good right now, despite the flowers.
The first day of December, the day before her birthday, three days before Chanukah, 30 degrees out, he goes to visit a friend and comes home having lost one of the gloves she gave him for Chanukah years ago. While he’s away she reads an article about a website set up to unite gloves with their owners, but that’s only in Pittsburgh. For now. The flowers he sent her are delivered while he’s out, and she has to hobble down the stairs to receive them, then hobble back up, terrified of that final step, no one to hang onto.