This Week: 5/8/2002.

It is dark. There is something not quite right with the world. You are not quite sure what it is, but you know it is out there. A respite! Is it gone?


It has come again. Suddenly you know what it is. The phone is ringing. It was ringing a moment ago and now it’s back. You look at the clock and notice the time: midnight. You get up and answer, because you know if someone is calling now it must be important.


“John?, it’s your mother. Dad’s at the hospital.”

You’re fully awake now. You immediately think of a similar call six months ago when your father was in the hospital with a heart attack.

“He was having chest pains this evening and he decided to call 911. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. Can you come and get me and take me there?”

This was how it started. Fortunately, that’s how it ended. We got to the hospital and it appeared that everything was O.K., a false alarm.

After you’ve stayed up all night and you want to get a little sleep, can you picture yourself with a hammer, a box of nails, and thick, black blankets to hang over the windows? After last night, I don’t have to use my imagination anymore.

After catching a couple of hours of shuteye, mom and I made our way back to the hospital, where Dad had been admitted for observation. We met Lisa and Eric there, and spent the afternoon chatting away in dad’s room. After Lisa and Eric left, and dad’s dinner was served, I suggested to mom that we get something to eat ourselves. This meant a trip to the hospital cafeteria. The hospital is designed to heal people. The hospital cafeteria is seemingly designed to create new customers. Mom and I warily looked over the selections tastefully displayed under heating lamps, all of which looked as if they were left over from lunch – yesterday. I selected an entree with an ironic name: chicken tenders. We ate in silence. The combined effects of little sleep, bad food, and sitting still all day in small hospital room started taking it’s toll, and we bid our farewell for the evening. On the encouraging side, dad seemed to be doing quite well. All of the tests were coming back negative and the doctor seemed confident that he would be going home the next day. This made it easier to leave, knowing that dad was doing well, so we did.

Compared to a trip to the hospital, everything else tends to fade into the background, so I don’t have much to say about anything else this week.

Well, on second thought, I haven’t been at a loss for words all week, so why should I stop now?

This week introduced me to hiring. I’ve plenty of experience being the interviewee, but this week I got to sit on the other side of the table. It was kind of fun. I know, interviewing for the first time is probably fun like mowing the lawn the first time is fun. It’s fun exactly once. The hardest part was not speaking about the experience with my office mates. I was almost desperate to share with others, but alas, I had to muzzle myself. It was like hearing some big news, and not being able to tell anyone else about it. Oh, the humanity!

I finish this entry sitting outside Beth’s ballet class, by myself for the first time this week. What a group we are, the parents of 6:30 ballet. We’re an even mix of loners and groupies. Not many of my friends would be surprised to see that I’m the only one typing away on a computer. There are plenty of books and newspapers to be had, but only one laptop PC. I’m sitting on a wobbly bench, the kind of surface with exactly three legs of equal length. At one end is a mother trying to read a good book (I’m assuming it’s a good book, I haven’t asked). Meanwhile, I’m hammering away at my keyboard, putting no small amount of follow through in my strokes. You can understand the mother picking another spot, can’t you?

Here endeth the writing week.