Hi Everyone! I am starting to post snippets from my book, The Detour. Pull out your red pen and let me know what you think.
I sat in the emergency room at Children’s Hospital assessing my neighbors. Young mothers with runny-nosed toddlers, large families who didn’t speak English arguing amongst themselves…a TV in the corner droned old 80’s sitcoms. I sat down on a threadbare sofa.
“Don’t touch anything” my husband said. “Who knows what this place is crawling with.”
I looked down at my daughter. Her complexion had taken on a grey color, her eyes were wide. I had never seen eyes so wide. I could see the whites around her iris and pupils. Her head was moving back and forth against the baby carrier. Mechanically I pulled out some antiseptic wipes and laid them on the seat beside me.
“Here” I said pointing to the wipes.
“Thanks” Bill proceeded to wipe everything down in his immediate vicinity; hands, face, car seat carrier, arm rest of the chair.
“It’s not going to help” I wanted to say. “This whole place is infested with something invisible, untouchable, uncontrollable, beyond us.” I didn’t say a word but let him try and destroy the onslaught of bacteria that seemed to be seeping into our lives.
I had never felt so dirty in my life. We left the ski resort in a hurry; anxious to get Sarah down the mountain, to try and figure out what’s wrong with her, to try and fix her. I had stuffed my hair into a ski hat and pulled on yesterday’s sweater. I had a musky, unshowered smell about me and was trying desperately to remember if I had brushed my teeth.
I had smeared on a little make-up in hopes of covering up my worry. I smiled to myself at the irony….cover-up to cover-up emotion, foundation to strengthen our foundation. My shield against whatever was going on…. as long as my lipstick is refreshed, everything will be ok.
Bill handed me a Power Bar….peanut butter. It was sweet, sticky glue in my mouth. I guess I needed to eat something. I really wanted a cup of strong, hot coffee; or maybe a shot of something, a little Jack trickling down my throat, tingling my toes….ahhh self medication.
But no coffee, no Jack; just the three of us waiting with the rest. Damn.
“Samson? Sarah Samson?” The nurse called.
“That was fast.” I said to my husband.
“The benefits of good insurance.” He answered.