Driving to see your mother in the hospital, you realize you are one thousand years old.
You learn to count the number of doorways you’ll pass through, and elevator buttons you’ll touch.
Hand washing has not had the same degree of consciousness and care since grade school when the habit was being drilled into you.
Everyone acts with paper doll movements. Gentle untucking, redressing, patting into place. The washing of arms, legs, feet, heads, backs. This is your back. These are your shoulders. Your own body looking back at you in reverse.
Time is funny here. Precious, laborious, terrifying. And you don’t know where she is.
She could be anywhere, in a scan, left down the hall, under the stairs, on another floor, behind the moon.
She could be on her stomach while the carpenter and the electrician do their work under theater lights.
What a strange, sterilized opera. She did an ugly pirouette into another plane, some offshoot reality, but somehow is also still stuck in bed.
So she should be here. You are here. Right here?