There’s a ten a.m. hush in the house. A deep sort of quiet that lends itself to napping. After a short night and a rough morning, Sally sleeps the sleep of exhaustion. I feel it too, the lassitude that comes in the wake of an episode.
I waited in the chill morning drizzle as she struggled to breathe, standing periodically to vomit and move away from the mess. She would stagger drunkenly a few feet, then collapse. There is nothing I can do but be present, wait it out with her, so she doesn’t have to be alone.
She carries on with life. While the episodes have become more frequent, they seem less severe in some ways. Her tongue remains pink. This may have a lot to do with the fact that the air is no longer furnace hot, thick with humidity and unmoving. They are still terrifying for those of us who can do nothing but stand by and watch.
It’s on days like this, when weariness seeps like fog through my bones, that I am glad I finished No One Has Such a Dog. I was and am still capable of joy in the thought of her, all the peculiar behaviors distinctive to her being. I think it makes a difference. If she had gone before I published it, it would have been a bitter thing, a very different sort of book.