March 13th, 2010


Today was shaping up to be slightly better than yesterday was. But then my sister reported that my parents' Geo Prizm, which she and her husband have been borrowing while in Maryland, seemed to be slipping out of gear. Since I didn't want her breaking down on the shoulder-challeged freeway in the dark, I took the car out on an afternoon coffee run to see whether it was safe to drive.

On the way back to the hospital the clutch burnt out completely. I stood for an hour in the pouring rain, not wanting to risk sitting in the car where it was positioned. Then I spent another ninety minutes waiting for the car to get towed, first with my brother-in-law and nephew, who were kind enough to stay with me in the rental car, and then with my father.

By the time we were on the road headed home, it had been dark for an hour. But everyone made it home safe. And even though my mom was sent back to the ICU for a third time, we were still optimistic about her condition. Nevertheless, in reflecting back on the day's steep downward trajectory, I can't help but feel like the protagonist in one of Kafka's stories.