How Did We Go Through Seventeen Glasses in a Day?

Glasses and cups were all over the kitchen.  I counted them: seventeen. I mean, life is marvelous, isn’t it?  The number of dirty cups?  Mirabile dictu, and all that. 

In the middle of Covid-19 plague, my friend is temporarily crippled in an accident, and all I’m thinking about is keeping up with the dishes.   I calculate that I used seven of them. There was the tea, later the water, then the orange juice, then flavored water, then the coffee, etc…..  She used the rest.  And she insists on a new glass every time she drinks.  (“It’s sanitary.”)

She suggested, “Bring bottled drinks and I’ll drink out of the bottle.” 

“Maybe paper cups?”

Friends are splitting shifts to help out, and I admit I’m a lousy nurse.  I’m bewildered to find myself early in the morning sitting in the hospital atrium while she has a brain scan. Only patients can enter the neurology office.  I take off my mask in the atrium, because honestly nobody is around.   Did she take off her mask for the brain scan?  I forgot to ask.

Two hours later, she emerges from the elevator.  “I hope my brain is okay,” she says sadly.  “Do you have my book?”

And then–yup, we’re back on the bus, wearing masks and gloves. It’s free!  But you  need to use a ton of sanitizer the minute you get off, and wash your hands thourghly at home–and possibly shower.  

She went off the pain pills today.  Whatever marvelous benefits other people acquire from pain pills seem to make her sick.  “Everything hurts!”

“I know, I know.  More Tylenol?” 

And so she’s bundled up in a blanket, hygge-style, listening to rock music.  We decide the Most Inappropriate 1960s Song for 2020 is “Touch Me” by the Doors.

Yeah! Come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, babe
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won’t you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?

The Doors, 1968

She applies ice packs to various parts of her body.  I wash the 17 glasses and cups.

The good thing is:  we don’t have coronavirus. 

And the other good thing:  I never wanted to be a professional nurse.

New Yorker cartoon, March 23, 2020

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