Thursday, October 30, 2008
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.
Posted by Petunia Face at 9:43 AM