Lying here listening to the varied bleeps and buzzes of my hospital room in the recovery ward of the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, it occurs to me that I have real wisdom to pass along before it be too late. After buzzing for the nurses assistant currently on duty, and then waiting a few minutes for Clara to bounce along the hall in search of a pen, which I now slowly spin in my clammy hands in order to read the advertisement along its shaft, “Flomax…” and stop after deciding that is enough to get the idea, I temporarily don’t know where to start.
Out the window an updraft carries a swirling flurry of snow brightly lit by the flood lights on the top corner of the building in an ugly sort of dance based on misdirection against a pitch black, only-six-pm-at-night sky that leaves me dizzy. I place my hand over the tender surgery scar on my abdomen where the pain temporarily steadies me and then close my eyes in order to visualize Clara bobbing down the hall until the dizziness becomes pleasant. Finally ready to put pen to paper, I start. “How to use a snow shovel correctly. Step one: Go no faster than a brisk walk.”