Sunday, March 20, 2005

Crystal ball—a look at my future

No Thanks, But No Choice, Either

It’s Thanksgiving, 2004. My sister is here for dinner, as usual. My husband does a quick shave, to make himself presentable for the occasion. My sister has an allergic reaction to his aftershave, and almost has to leave. My husband brings out a cup of tea for himself, and my sister asks him to move it away from her, because she’s having an allergic reaction to the tea’s vapors. We spend half an hour looking for all-cotton sheets so that she can stay overnight, and then she announces that there’s something in the air that’s making her sick and she’ll have to go home. She calls later to tell us that whatever was in the air wasn’t in our apartment. It was coming from something outside on the street—four stories down.

It’s my brother’s turn now; it’ll be my turn later.

Right now, my younger brother, who’s the only one of us kids who lives close enough, is taking care of Mom and Dad. In twenty years, since I’m the only one who lives close enough, I’ll be taking care of our sister.

I can’t honestly say that I’m looking forward to it.

“The Morgue”

It’s Saturday night, March 19, 2005, after Shabbat. I’m in my mid-fifties, my husband’s in his early sixties. Our son, in his early twenties, is away at college. The hubby’s freelancing at the office of a former colleague. I’m here all by my lonesome. I’d love to call someone, but I’m nursing a stomach virus, and I’m afraid I’ll have to make a run for it in the middle of a conversation. I’ve tried watching some figure skating, but I’m too out of it for TV. So I’m sitting here posting my opinions on my favorite televised-science-fiction message boards and catching up on reading the umpteen Jewish blogs on my Favorites list. It’s dead as a doornail in here—you could hear a pin drop.

So this is what it’s going to be like after my husband dies.

And after all my friends are gone, it’ll be even worse.


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