a boyfriend and once I got the endoscope down past her nasal passages both of

A boyfriend and once i got the endoscope down past

This preview shows page 97 - 98 out of 158 pages.

wheel? a boyfriend?), and once I got the endoscope down past her nasal passages, both of her vocal cords were collapsed. Blood and spit were bubbling in every direction and it took forever to get an endotracheal tube in place. When I finished the procedure, I went to the waiting room to look for whoever had brought her in. As I called the name on the chart, a woman behind me tapped my shoulder saying, Doctor . Everyone did that, the sick and those advocating for the sick, they chanted and begged, doctor, nurse, doctor, nurse . The emergency room at Albert Einstein was a cyclone of human need and the trick was to keep focused on the thing you’d come to do, ignoring the rest. But when I turned around the woman looked at me with such—what? Surprise? Fear? I remember raising my hand to my face to see if there was blood on it. That had happened before. She was tall and dismally thin, and in my mind I assigned her to the ash heap of late-stage lung cancer or tuberculosis. None of this distinguished her in that particular crowd. The only reason she’d stuck with me at all was because she called me Cyril. I would have asked her how she knew my father, but then a man was there saying it was his girlfriend I had just scoped. I was taking him into the hallway, wondering if he in fact had strangled her. I’d been in the waiting room for less than a minute, and by the time I had the chance to wonder about the woman with the gray braid who’d called me by my father’s name, she was long gone, and I was no longer interested. I didn’t wonder if she’d been a tenant in one of the Conroy buildings or if she was someone he had known in Brooklyn. I certainly never thought about my mother. Like everyone else who worked in an ER, I pressed ahead with what was in front of me and made it through the night. To grow up with a mother who had run off to India, never to be heard from again, that was one thing— there was closure in that, its own kind of death. But to find out she was fifteen stops away on the Number One train to Canal and had failed to be in touch was barbaric. Whatever romantic notions I might have harbored, whatever excuses or allowances my heart had ever made on her behalf, blew out like a match. The contractor was waiting for me in the lobby when I got back and we talked about the window frames that were pulling away from the brick in the front of the building. He was still there taking measurements an hour later when Celeste came home from school. She was so buoyant, so bright, her yellow hair tangled from the wind that had kicked up. She was telling me about the children in her class, and how they had all cut out leaves from construction paper and printed their names on the leaves so she could make a tree on her classroom door, and as I listened, less to what she was saying and more to the pleasing sound of her voice, I knew that Celeste would always be there. She had proven her commitment to me time and again. If men were fated to marry their mothers, well, here was my chance to buck the trend.
Image of page 97
Image of page 98

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 158 pages?

  • Fall '16

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes