Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Guilty Vacation

Athens, Greece 
"I'm having such a good time," I told the man who loves me as I tore a bite out of his lamb sandwich at a hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant. No not in Greece. Glendale--suburban Los Angeles. We were just a few blocks from the hospital where he'd just pre-registered for his surgery, and I couldn't seem to hold onto the idea of his up-coming lobectomy for lung cancer. How does a girlfriend put that out of her mind? I don't know, but I did. It slipped away that night at dinner, too. Blame the vegetarian curry and black pepper pork confit at the neighborhood place with a Southeast Asian flair--or maybe it's the way he looks at me. The look that makes me forget just about everything. We drove to the supermarket for a bottle of wine, talking the way we always talk, sometimes veering onto the subject of his cancer and the surgery. But not for long. Back at his place, we poured the wine into the "good" glasses and ticked items off the to-do list as we packed up for his recuperation at my place. Hat, scarf, warm sweater? Check. Chargers for the electronics? Check. Do you want to bring your own coffee? No. Books? These. With his overstuffed duffel on the couch, it still felt like a vacation. It was a vacation when we climbed into bed, and a vacation when we woke several time through the night. Are you okay? Yes. How are you feeling? Just fine.

It felt less like a vacation when he had to abstain from his coffee this morning. Less like a vacation when I ate the leftover curry for breakfast, knowing he couldn't eat. At the hospital with him on a gurney in a paper gown waiting for what was almost forever, we had nothing to do really but talk and the vacation feeling came back--almost. All the time in the world was what we had, it seemed. Me resting my hand on his forehead, on his arm; leaning over to kiss him. Just the two of us behind a flimsy curtain.

My stomach didn't feel like it made it all the way up to 5th floor when we rode the elevator to surgery. He was sleepy by then. His blood sugar off a bit. We talked to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist which is something one doesn't do on vacation. And on vacation, one doesn't usually sit in the hospital lobby, waiting to hear if the cancer was successfully removed.



9 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh, Denise. I'm sending my love, hoping and praying that all is well. That you can pick right up where you left off -- a vacation in Greece.

N2 said...

My thoughts are with you and the Man Who Loves You, holding the image of a good result in my mind. When this cancer is well and truly under control, you two should, as Elizabeth said, take a real vacation.
x0 N2

lily cedar said...

I hope all goes well for both of you.

Joan said...

Thinking of you and the Man Who Loves You...

Mel said...

Thinking of you both today, hoping for a good result and a quick recuperation. And yes, then a real vacation. xo

Suz said...

I add my prayers and good wishes for a good result...

Ms. Moon said...

So much love coming your way. And wishes for all things good.

Elizabeth Harper said...

I'm been following but not commenting and I wanted to say that I'm thinking about you both and hope the Man Who Loves You will soon be resting comfortably at your home near the sea. Big hugs!

Allison said...

Sending you good thoughts for a good outcome. It's just surreal that this is happening.