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09/29/2006

Arrested development

Here's how hard I work for you: When I entered the parking garage this morning, I made a point of looking to see which booth the friendly attendant occupied.  I planned to ask him how his date had gone, just so I could pass on the news.  Imagine my disappointment, then, when I pulled up to his booth later only to see him leaving on his break, yellow rain poncho flapping as he crossed right in front of my car.

Now we might never find out.

...

I spend a lot of time talking to Julia.  Sometimes we talk on the phone, but usually we use instant messaging, which allows us to save imprudent confidences to disk, the better to blackmail each other with later.

julie: so now my shameful truth comes out.
julia: i knew it all along
julia: your subtleties hold no mysteries for me
julie: i am as an open book
julie: with pictures
julie: and an audiotape that bongs when it's time to turn the page.

Last night after I'd babysat Patrick by typing in a wide variety of letters in varying fonts, sizes, and colors; utterly spoiled the third season of Arrested Development for her...

julia: do you do that ON PURPOSE?
julia: pick something from SEASON THREEEEEEEEEEEEE
julie: SHIT.
julie: i thought that was second season!
julie: GAAAAAH
julia: i hate you and i hate your ass face

...and asked solicitously after Patrick's testing:

julia: when he got to build things
julia: or do word problem
julia: or follow patterns
julia: just watch his smoke
julia: (i did not approve of the smoking but it DID seem to relax him)

...we got down to business and talked about this cycle.

julie: hey, wouldn't it be funny if it turned out tomorrow i'd ovulated?
julia: HI-larious

...

Wand went in, Julie freaked out. 

Something looked wrong with the big follicle on the right, a sort of squashed-in appearance, a fuzzy edge, an irregular shape, not what we saw on Wednesday.  The longer my doctor was quiet, the more I worried, and he was quiet for quite some time. 

"Run progesterone on her blood, too, okay?" he told the nurse.  "Though Antagon does a great job of preventing ovulation..." he said.

"Yes, but I work very hard at this," I reminded them.  This confounding of expectations.  This zigging where other, more conformist, less imaginative patients zag.

I knew it, I thought as soon as I heard his voice on the phone later instead of the nurse's.  "Goddamn it," I said.

"Yeah," he said, and that was that.  My progesterone has risen.  I've ovulated.  Cycle's over.  I do not know what's next.

...

I should tell you that I have a little bit of a history with my friend the parking attendant.  When I left the hospital on the last day of my last cycle, which was also cancelled, I stopped at his booth.  "It's a beautiful day!" he boomed as I handed him my ticket.  "Isn't it a beautiful day?"

I smiled vaguely, which was the least that politeness demanded, but didn't answer.  He took my $1.25.  "But then," he continued, probably planning to marvel to the next driver at how crabby I was, "every day's a beautiful day if you want it to be."

And I had this instant mean urge to snap, "Not if you've just learned you're dying."  Of course I did not, for fifty different reasons, the most compelling being the fact that I am not, after all, dying, and indeed the impulse vanished instantly.  He was, after all, only being friendly to someone who looked like she needed it.

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