I have held my tongue so long it's strangling me. I know that the area in my throat and chest that is effected by this tongue holding is the exact area that is strangling my friend. But today, while I waited for the phone call to go pick her up from her first day of prep for Radiation at Huntsman Cancer Institute, I have tried to put my house in order and this house keeping has seriously inconvenienced all the dogs. So I have shouted at dogs to move, go outside, shut up, stay! all day long. I finally took to using a water sprayer to surprise Marley in mid-bark at the kids playing in the yard across the alley.
I have stripped all dog beds or their coverings and washed them. I submerged Marley's bed in the bathtub and scrubbed it. It's been drying in the sun all day and is now a lot sweeter smelling than Marley herself. Tomorrow morning Marley gets another bath. I stripped my bed and washed sheets. And I did all this cleaning because I couldn't leave my phone for fear of missing Z's phone call.
When she called I had my clothes laid out to hop into so I would look respectable when I pulled up at Huntsman to pick her up. I wore a sleeveless white cotton blouse and a black cotton skirt. I wore earrings and a bracelet. I wore my good summer hat--it goes with everything. She was waiting in the circle at the entrance, and as I drove up the hill I saw her standing there dressed in a long sleeved brown top with matching brown pants. She is reed slender and this willowy frame from a distance has the look of the girl I first met at the U forty eight years ago in a room full of boys. I do not look like the girl I was. My hair is shorter and I weigh at least forty pounds more than I did as a reed thin girl. I look my age. But at a distance Z looks just like that willowy girl, that ballet dancing girl. And a lump forms in my chest as I think about the journey we both have taken to end up here now.
Tonight her sister-in-law is cooking for her. Tomorrow I pick her up at 3:30 to take her to Huntsman again for a half hour of treatment. She is feeling better all ready.
Marley on the other hand has her very long nose very seriously out of joint. At least I didn't kick her.