I’ll help you, she says, and she lugs two grocery sacks in from the trunk. She’s chosen the heavy ones with gallons and cans and her arms hurt, but she’s beaming.
I need to rest today, I pine, piling my woes on the kitchen counter.
I’ll make you a schedule, she says, and she bends over a pad then posts it on the refrigerator.
Sun 12:00 to 1:00
Mon 11:00 to 12:00
Tues 1:00 to 2:00
Wed 10:00 to 11:00
Thurs 9:00 to 10:00
Fri 10:00 to 11:00
Now I’ll set the timer, she says, and you go lie on your bed.
And if you need to schedule a makeup time, she adds in a stroke of management genius, write in on a piece of paper and give it to me before.
She’s thought of everything, you see, everything I need, and she gives it to me in the same way her needs have been tended and timed all these years into a sane and healthy rhythm. A time for this, a time for that. I take to my room and close the door. She turns the dial on the timer, and I feel it rushing back to me in a flood, all of it coming around again in terms never more certain, never more genuine, and right on schedule.
I am loved.