My husband’s heart condition is worsening. His diabetes goes uncontrolled, we are losing the house we have lived in for more than 30 years, and dementia prevents him from discussing any of it. I leave him with a health aide and escape for lunch.
I stand in line behind a man with thick gray hair and stylishly cuffed dark jeans. He’s about my age, 67, within a year or two. I have an affinity for people my own age, an attraction, or maybe just a recognition of organs in the same stage of decay. He shifts his lean black backpack off his shoulder and presents his nose. A significant high-bridged honker not unlike my own. He takes his number stand and sets up at one of the outdoor tables on the terrace.
I order my chicken Caesar and find a seat. The gray-haired busboy — bus grandpa? — roams the room looking confused with a glass of iced tea that I assume is mine so I get up and take it from him. I find my own sugars and lemon too. Everywhere I go, an old man needs my help.
My husband is almost 20 years my senior. When we met, he was a sweet vigorous man in his early 50s who shared my love of theater, books, friends and silliness. I knew he would age first but I didn’t color in the pictures: his hospitalizations, his financial blunders, the years of my life stalled in caretaker mode. My eyes blur with the beginning of tears; I’ve become a woman who cries in public. I stir a second sugar into my tea. The raw crystals burst through the straw, and for a second, the sweet crunch of them feels like happiness.
The man I noticed in front of me in line is walking behind a woman sitting off-balance in an electric wheelchair. She has shiny brown hair cut short, a red cotton sweater, and holds her hands out in front of her, her fingers strained apart.
His wife? Employer? A friend?
Their beverages arrive. A Mexican Coke for her in a small glass bottle and for him, a glass of white wine. Wine in the afternoon; why hadn’t I thought of that? I admire his profile as he drinks. I always thought I’d marry a man with a big nose. In my Brooklyn family, we associated a significant nose with intelligence, depth. My husband’s is short and straight, handsome even, but secretly, I consider it lightweight.
Then suddenly, the man pushes back from the table. He goes to the woman’s chair and follows behind her in the direction of the restrooms. I recognize the haste, the grimace, the need to get your partner to a bathroom quickly.
I try to read the book recommended by a young friend but it’s wrong for my mood. The characters are all green, with too many years ahead of them, a lack of urgency that allows them to keep making the same mistakes. And the style, a collage of tweets, posts, lists and advertisements, keeps me at a distance.
The couple returns and their food arrives. He removes a wide-brimmed cotton sun hat from his pack and arranges it on her head, gently swiping some hair from her eyes. He reaches into the pack again for a suede pouch the color of caramel.
He takes out an Accu-Chek glucometer, the same diabetes monitoring device my husband uses.
I close my book and watch him prick her finger, then squeeze a drop of blood onto the strip. He performs the tasks with brisk, economic movements, but there’s a bored, irritated look on his face. Oh, how I love him! Caretaking is boring; food, medicine, hygiene, every day the same routine.
I watch the couple like a play. He removes a Moleskine notebook from the pack, black with a red elastic strap, and enters her numbers. My husband still keeps his own records but uses a Yellow Submarine notebook, its pages mottled with spilled liquids and food. I used to buy fancy zip cases for his meds too. But I lost every one of them. Now when we go out to dinner, his insulin pen rattles around the bottom of my purse with the stray receipts and sunglasses, and I keep his pre-dinner pill in the linty pocket of my jeans. How I envy the tasteful order my fellow nurse has placed on the chaos of his mate’s disease.
When he removes her insulin pen from the pouch, I almost jump out of my seat. My husband injects with a pen too, I want him to know. Maybe even the same brand. I’m so busy identifying, I miss the injection. Has he discreetly lifted her skirt and pierced her thigh? Or reached beneath her sweater for a belly poke? He has tawny skin and square clean fingernails.
They eat. He doesn’t cut her food. He doesn’t hover or monitor. He looks aloof, vaguely dissatisfied, like a fussy man out alone at an inferior restaurant. He seems to have found a way to remain separate, himself.
I want to sit with him, laugh and clink glasses, invite him to our house to commiserate. I want to talk to him about the insulin pen’s thread-thin needles that sometimes break off and disappear in my husband’s skin, about the high price of test strips, about peripheral neuropathy, about foot wounds.
Foot wounds? Ravish me, I should be thinking! I used to be a person with sexual fantasies. While my husband charms the wife with his rendition of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” we can retire upstairs for an adult nap.
I want him so badly, his Moleskine notebook, the elegant way he gives care, I either need to tell him my story or leave the restaurant.
But I know not everyone is comfortable with my level of sharing
Last week, when a colleague asked how my husband was doing, I told her. The bloodstained bathroom floor, “like an animal had been slaughtered,” the refusal to bathe, the falls, the forgotten anniversaries; it all came pouring out. She nodded seriously, appropriately, but her arm twitched. Then, as I kept talking, her arm started to rise from her side. She might not have known it, but she wanted to cover my mouth, to shut me up.
I take one last pull of sweet tea. The shortest route to my car is cutting across the patio to the parking lot. But I can’t bear walking past their table, so I exit through the front door. I glance at the handicapped parking spots, imagine him driving a voluptuous old Citroen, with soft, fragrant leather seats. Sometimes I use my husband’s disability placard and park in the blue zone even when he isn’t with me in the car. There’s a stiff fine, but I feel so overwhelmed, so weary, it’s as if his disabilities have become my own.
There is no Citroen, just an American van with a wheelchair lift. My own car is only three years old but the heated smells of souring milk from my husband’s spilled coffee and the eucalyptus liniment he rubs on his joints overwhelm the last hopeful traces of new car smell.
Lunch is over. I need to get to the pharmacy to pick up my husband’s prescriptions. And more adult diapers. Maybe I’ll find a chic little backpack to sling over my husband’s walker. And a notebook for me, black with a red elastic strap.
Audrey Ferber is a San Francisco writer at work on a book of stories and essays about care-taking, aging and sexuality.B:
白小姐香港东成西就精准三码【韩】【也】【的】【视】【线】【在】【她】【的】【手】【上】【停】【留】【了】【一】【会】【儿】【之】【后】，【漠】【然】【移】【开】。 【童】【谣】【撇】【了】【撇】【嘴】，【有】【些】【悻】【悻】【地】【收】【回】【了】【自】【己】【伸】【出】【的】【那】【只】【手】。 【像】【是】【泄】【愤】【般】，【将】【刚】【才】【伸】【出】【去】【的】【那】【个】【鸡】【肉】【卷】【举】【到】【自】【己】【跟】【前】，【狠】【狠】【地】【咬】【了】【一】【大】【口】。 【韩】【也】【没】【什】【么】【表】【情】【地】【看】【了】【会】【儿】【童】【谣】，【伸】【手】**【裤】【兜】【里】，【就】【要】【迈】【步】【离】【开】。 【然】【而】【这】【个】【时】【候】，【一】【阵】【沉】【闷】【的】“【咕】【噜】【咕】【噜】
【两】【人】【又】【恶】【战】【了】【百】【余】【回】【合】，【叶】【风】【舟】【身】【上】【已】【是】【伤】【痕】【累】【累】。 【欢】【喜】【佛】【呵】【呵】【笑】【道】：“【师】【弟】，【捉】【了】【他】【回】【府】【讫】【令】。” 【悲】【伤】【佛】【回】【首】【匆】【匆】【扫】【了】【一】【眼】，【见】【副】【使】【王】【约】【抚】【髯】【未】【语】。【当】【下】【运】【贯】【激】“【阿】【罗】【汉】【神】【功】”【九】【成】【功】【力】，【双】【掌】【排】【山】【倒】【海】【般】【疾】【攻】【而】【至】。 【叶】【风】【舟】【既】【然】【决】【意】【弃】【生】，【也】【不】【躲】【不】【避】，【使】【招】【玉】【霖】【剑】【法】【中】【的】“【双】【瞳】【剪】【水】”【式】，【展】【臂】【抬】【掌】
【跟】【在】【那】【个】【男】【子】【背】【后】，【城】【墙】【被】【直】【接】【分】【开】【的】【一】【处】【显】【然】【刚】【刚】【好】【好】【能】【够】【通】【过】，【跨】【入】【的】【一】【刻】【却】【感】【觉】【豁】【然】【开】【朗】。 “【看】【来】【这】【里】【很】【像】【是】【一】【个】【庇】【护】【所】【一】【样】，【到】【底】【在】【搞】【什】【么】【情】【况】，【麻】【烦】【的】【场】【面】。” 【去】【除】【掉】【那】【些】【拿】【着】【武】【器】【戒】【备】【的】，【即】【使】【带】【着】【极】【其】【沉】【重】【头】【盔】【而】【在】【那】【双】【缝】【隙】【中】【依】【旧】【透】【露】【出】【的】【眼】【睛】，【那】【种】【恐】【惧】【到】【极】【致】【的】【感】【情】。【回】【头】【望】【去】，【整】【个】【围】
【有】【人】【从】【他】【们】【身】【边】【经】【过】，【凌】【尧】【微】【侧】【着】【身】，【给】【别】【人】【让】【路】。 【她】【轻】【轻】【擦】【拭】【着】【眼】【泪】，【然】【后】【凝】【视】【着】【纪】【攸】【宁】，【开】【口】【的】【时】【候】，【情】【绪】【比】【刚】【才】【激】【动】【了】【不】【少】。 “【让】【我】【放】【手】【的】【人】【是】【你】，【现】【在】【说】【不】【离】【婚】【的】【人】【也】【是】【你】，【你】【到】【底】【把】【我】【当】【成】【什】【么】【了】？【挥】【之】【即】【来】【呼】【之】【即】【去】【的】【布】【偶】【吗】？” “【我】【谢】【谢】【你】【半】【年】【来】【的】【照】【顾】，【可】【是】【我】【真】【的】【累】【了】，【现】【在】【我】【已】【经】【放】白小姐香港东成西就精准三码【这】【会】【儿】，【妇】【产】【科】【主】【任】【看】【见】【伍】【乔】，【竟】【然】【很】【兴】【奋】。 “【乔】【乔】【啊】，【你】【新】【拍】【的】‘【如】【意】【传】’【我】【每】【集】【都】【没】【落】【下】，【太】【好】【看】【了】。” 【伍】【乔】【看】【看】【坐】【在】【自】【己】【对】【面】【的】【主】【任】【医】【师】，【有】【些】【尴】【尬】【的】【扯】【扯】【嘴】【角】。 “【哎】【呀】，【你】【不】【用】【说】，【我】【都】【知】【道】。” 【妇】【产】【科】【主】【任】【很】【上】【道】，【直】【接】【带】【着】【伍】【乔】【进】【去】【检】【查】。 【可】【检】【查】【了】【许】【久】，【很】【是】【疑】【惑】。 “【你】【这】【也】
【古】【洛】【西】【却】【不】【以】【为】【然】：“【王】【爷】，【你】【把】【他】【说】【的】【也】【太】【好】【了】，【我】【看】【也】【不】【过】【如】【此】。” 【三】【皇】【子】【知】【道】【古】【洛】【西】【的】【武】【功】【厉】【害】，【但】【即】【便】【是】【如】【此】，【他】【也】【不】【确】【定】【和】【那】【个】【赵】【洛】【相】【比】，【古】【洛】【西】【是】【否】【能】【够】【有】【稳】【胜】【的】【把】【握】？ 【太】【子】【一】【行】【人】【赶】【了】【一】【天】【的】【路】，【天】【色】【渐】【渐】【暗】【下】【来】，【无】【风】【找】【了】【一】【家】【客】【栈】，【赵】【芷】【若】【一】【想】【到】【要】【和】【太】【子】【在】【一】【个】【床】【上】【同】【榻】【而】【眠】，【心】【里】【就】【觉】
【时】【光】【荏】【苒】，【岁】【月】【就】【是】【能】【够】【让】【你】【记】【住】【不】【想】【要】【自】【己】【住】【的】【东】【西】，【然】【后】【忘】【记】【了】【你】【最】【想】【要】【记】【住】【的】【事】【情】【或】【者】【人】？ 【两】【年】【的】【时】【光】【过】【去】【了】【是】【真】【的】【很】【能】【够】【改】【变】【一】【个】【人】【的】！【可】【是】【这】【个】【仇】【人】【是】【例】【外】【的】。 【不】【如】【说】【是】，【宫】【水】【叶】【和】【素】【可】【卿】【去】【餐】【厅】【吃】【饭】【的】【时】【候】，【他】【们】【竟】【然】【是】【遇】【到】【了】【一】【个】【和】【之】【前】【长】【得】【很】【像】【的】【男】【人】，【而】【且】【对】【方】【的】【身】【旁】【还】【带】【着】【一】【个】【和】【可】【爱】【的】