Monday, September 30, 2019

Choked by a rubbery scent and by the taste of oxygen and fear

On Dr. Patel’s orders, a technologist is preparing my father for his ECG test. Ma stays with him. I slip out to the corridor, where a white-faced patient is being fitted with an oxygen mask. 
At the sight of it, my mind is spinning full of bits of memories all the way back to the night I was brought here, to the ER, months ago. I recall struggling to release myself out of this thing, being choked by its rubbery scent and by the taste of oxygen and fear. 
I call Michael. 
“Miss you,” I say. And he says, “Miss you too.”
“Just, needed to hear your voice.”
“You know,” Michael says, “I did a reverse lookup in a few caller ID databases along with other private and public sources—”
“Oh!” I cry, my mind leaping ahead to finish his sentence for him. “You found out who owns that pink cellphone, the one I got last night from the waitress!”
“Yes, I did!”
“Sure you want to know?” 
“Sure I’m sure!”
Michael gurgles a laugh. He must be enjoying the moment, because he does his best to prolong it. “I’ll tell you who it doesn’t belong to: his wife.”
I gasp. At the other end, there’s a brief bark. I suppose my golden retriever, Browny, is as hungry for a bit of information as I am. 
Impatient, I whisper, “Stop playing games, Michael, I’m dying to know—”
“Not now,” he says. “I’ll pick you up in an hour—is that a good time?—and then, we’ll go pay that person a visit.”
“Can’t wait!” 
“How’s your father?”
“His vision is still blurry, and now his heart is acting up. They’re doing some tests right now. See you later.”
“See you soon, sweetheart.”

"This book was a roller coaster ride. I loved listening to it. I was enthralled listening to it, the imagery the use of words, I could smell the food they ate."
Sarah Moon, Audible Reviewer

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