Next Tuesday at 3.15am, I will wake with a blinding headache to the left side of my head. I will get an analgesic from the drug cupboard while Sylvia packs some ice in a plastic bag, but they won’t help. – and with the growing soreness in my chest, we cannot take a chance. We still remember what happened the last time. Silvia will try the hospital’s telephone but we both know what they will say: the scarce diesel is reserved for the generator and there’s not enough for the ambulance. Sylvia has to start cooking for her restaurant in a couple of hours so I will hurry down to the car alone. She will blow me a kiss from the balcony and I will drive out, feeling really bad about all this. It is only thirty minutes to the hospital, but in fifteen minutes I will be at your door. I will not have to knock. You will be waiting in the darkness behind the door and your embrace will smell of sleep and cinnamon. – But we have not come for this. Your heavy curtains will have blacked out your lighted lounge from the street. I will sit across from you, in that small room furnished with the chairs you and Ralph bought at the Casablanca fair, and wait. Ten minutes more will pass and Sylvia will phone. I will tell her how I have arrived, and how the ECG is borderline… how I am sitting across a doctor who is recommending an observation bed till morning when the lab techs can run blood tests. She will thank God and go back to sleep. Done speaking, I will put away the phone.
Then, we can talk.
Sou, I cannot wait till Tuesday.
This Saturday, Ralph stands in for the Pastor at the regular Men’s retreat. It is advertised for 4-6pm, but they’ve been running it for years and it never takes less than four hours. I will be leading the Women’s retreat at the same time and I never overrun. That gives us a couple of hours at least. The children’s ministry is shut from 12 noon. I will be waiting on the first floor, in room 12, from 6.10pm. I will leave the back entrance open, but be sure to bolt it once you enter. I hate to have to meet like this in the church building, but I’ll die if we have to wait till Tuesday. Please say we can get it over with, this weekend. By the way, do I smell of cinnamon? How would you know?