During the day Cathreen complains that, now that she is healing, I'm not treating her as nicely as before, not taking care of her as well. I help her put on make-up before she goes to my workplace to convince my boss to let me have Christmas off.
Make-up is so much work. There are so many things girls can do to their faces. Things that look dangerous. She runs a pencil across her eye and I try not to make any sudden movements.
At night I come home and she's despondent on the bed, her cast off. She shows me her fingers. The sides are white and pruned. "Skin's off," she says. Her fingers look skinny from the top and fat from the side--the swelling is mostly on her palm, as if she has another hand underneath her own. We talk about how we've never seen a bruised palm before.
It's hard to create an arc with this peice when life keeps starting us back at the beginning.
We buy hats for Christmas while we purchase another bandage to wrap her hand. Hers is a polar bear. Mine a raccoon. I am inappropriately excited. Maybe it's compensation.
I know in some ways this whole experience will help us. I will always be more careful with her.
Or maybe it will only help me. But maybe that's enough.
She goes to sleep before me, as soon as we get home. I have a beer and stare at the computer. I stare at this essay but don't write anything just then. When I open the door to the bedroom she is sprawled across the mattress. I kiss her on the temple. I worry. I sleep in the other room.
In the morning we wear our hats to her student's apartment, and the two boys there both have animal hats as well.
We go to the hospital afterward.
The doctor says it will take her another month to regain movement in her hand. He shines some sort of laser on her. When I watch my eyes hurt.
"Don't look," I tell her.
"I'm not," she says. She calls her sister and I lie down on the bed across from her.
I go to the post office but I've forgotten the address I'm sending to.
I want to write here that this will be a good day, because I will make it one. I decide to write this. I write, "I want to write here that this will be a good day, because I will make it one. I decide to write this. I write . . . " But I stop before it gets stupid.
I'm thinking about self-fulfilling prophecies.
I click, "publish post."
the project has moved
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Read the Essays from the Beginning
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