Op Note XXXV
Had I known this surgery would be so difficult I would have switched call. I would have transferred it out. Punted. I would have taken my daughter skiing and not gotten frustrated with her when she fell. I would have asked her about school and the pressures of eighth grade life and how I understood and was there anything I could do to help. I wouldn’t have made inane comments about the unseasonably warm weather, about the lovely view from the lift, the reifying properties of cold air. I would try not to let silence reign, lost in my thoughts worrying about the rocky course of the bowel case in the ICU. Snap out of it. Pay attention to her. It all goes by so fast. In the grand scheme of things this might be one of the last couple dozen times we sit together just the two of us undisturbed. Before she gets whisked away by her own rollicking life. Dangling above a mud slushed hill. I feel the weight of the countdown, the pressure to make it, if not iconic, at least memorable. I want to be the object of nostalgia. Hence my directionless unrequited rambling. Running out of time. For her the ride is interminable. The mountain is Olympian, Himalayan. I know she just wants to check her phone. Put on her AirPods and listen to Taylor Swift. But it isn’t even a mountain, I say. It’s barely a hill. Lift your skis, my little girl. We’re already almost there.