Two weeks ago I took my overnight bag and left the apartment at 6:30 am. I boarded the "A" train, transferred to the "C," then got off on 96th Street and Central Park West. It was a beautiful morning, with a beautiful blue sky to match my good mood.
I took the crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue, then sat on a park bench and watched the squirrels migrate to spots on the grass where the sun was brightest. When it was time, I picked up my bag and headed to the entrance on 94th Street, just east of the park.
A well-choreographed dance--planned but effortless, rehearsed but not forced. The older nurse held my hand and lead me into a room--a gown, now another room, cold inside, onto the table, "Are you comfortable?"
The young nurse whose face I couldn't see behind her mask, stroked my arm before we even met. It was as if all the love her mother and father gave her was transferred to me--laid on the table, just like I was.
"A shot to relax you," said the anesthesiologist, and then I was. Relaxed.
"Do you mind this mask so close to your face?"
"No," I said, "I don't mind."
"You did great," said the nurse.
"I did?" I said. "It's over?"
"It's all done," the surgeon cheerfully chimed in. "And now we just want you to rest."