Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ten Hours

I came home from the cafe early Thursday night, and sat down on the couch to talk to my wife. We shared a beer and potato chips. The part of the conversation that was not about our kids or family chores did not begin for awhile. I had a smoke.

Everything started to slide downhill. I could feel it but I couldn't stop it.

By 10:30 pm, we had fallen asleep on the couch, in each other's arms. When we stirred, Anette said, "Let's get in bed." "Feels cozy," she said. I felt pathetic. Another night wasted.

In our bedroom, Adinah started to cough. The Cough. I felt guilty: I had let her play soccer without her jacket that afternoon in the park. I listened to her breathing: before every cough comes a catch--a momentary, desperate inhale--and every catch felt like a hook in me.

Finally I sat up, and muttered "I gotta go."

In the other bedroom, I tossed and turned.


I woke up at 6:30, made myself a cup of strong black coffee, and sat alone on the love seat.

I felt a little better. That Radiohead lyric in my head: "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself...."

An hour later, I was standing, waiting, at the Strassenbahn stop, and I imagined I looked like a troubled, downcast sort of fellow. I had a curious sensation. I turned my head up and looked at a pretty blue sky. Is today the day that a jet engine will fall on me?

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