Thursday, October 30, 2008

Holding On

The fog rolls in and I turn on our heater for the first time this fall, the house smelling of burnt dust. It is past my bedtime. Bryan asleep already with the light left on, A Thousand Splendid Suns splayed open across his chest, the plight of Afghanistan rising and falling, rising and falling. Down the hallway in her room, Zoey coughs. Rolls over. Cries out. Me at the computer watching Obama’s 30 minute commercial and feeling too full, too hopeful, my skin seemingly stretched brittle and tight, the world. Rising and falling, rising and falling. Zoey’s temperature is 103 with two more hours to go before I can give her more Motrin so I call the after-hours advice nurse. There is not a liberal America or a conservative America; there is the United States of America. I am on hold for 12 minutes, Obama in one ear, muzak in the other. My kitchen at midnight and I am suspended in elevator music, rising and falling. My chest too full and I am afraid it might crack. Inhale inhale inhale and I find myself lying to the advice nurse with a sigh. Is she out of breath? Is she panting? Is she not acting her normal self? No, no, no, she’s fine, I want her to be fine, everything’s fine and for a minute it is as if I have just called the advice nurse at midnight to chat. It’s just a fever, fever’s are good, fever’s are fine, fever’s break.
But what I do not tell the advice nurse, what I do not tell anyone really, is that alone at midnight in my kitchen feasting on a bag of Butterfinger Halloween candy, by the indifferent glow of the computer monitor, that is what I am most afraid of: that when you are asleep, temperatures rise and everything breaks.
Image here.

7 comments:

bmommy said...

I know that feeling...a little piece of carrot choaked up my little guy a few weeks back and it wouldn`t come out of his troat...Even though he was breathing and really overtired...I was still terrified that if him or I went to sleep something terrible might happen...I hope your baby`s okay.

dattanifamily said...

awww I hope Zoey feels better soon I know it will make you feel better too! As a side note I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns even though it made me sad it was still a great read.

Megan said...

hope all's well with Zoey, and that you're hanging in there. The good news is that it looks like Obama is going to take CA, so at least there is that! (I'm dreading the cold, our main baseboard heater is broken, and I'm dreading the call to the landlord and then having to move the entire wall of bookcases so that it can be fixed, when they actually get around to it)

Not Afraid to Use It said...

It is such an awful feeling, waiting to see how that temperature is going to go. I hope your little one is on the mend and that your heart is more at ease.

MrsEm said...

Obamanos! I'm also freaking out about Tuesday. I told a cabbie today and he - in broken Chinese-english - yelled back "you DON'T worry! Obama WIN!" which made me feel a whole lot better.

And to Zoe's immune system: win one for the gipper, please.

Patois said...

I know that feeling as well, and you articulated it perfectly. Here's hoping she's on the mend even as I type.

beachbungalow8 said...

beautiful writing.