The Hand, the DJ Marcus’s Feet and Satish

a story in 109 days

Day 96

Awake.  Project 3.  Begins now.  Don’t care about the time.  The day.   All that matters is we live a lifetime of conversations now.


Her: no.


Me:  Maggie?


Her:  And Lauren and Connor


Me:   Hey.


Her: Dad, we don’t understand project 3.


Me:  I need to talk about each of you. I need to tell you things I’ve never told you.


Her: Why?


Me:  So you have them.  You hold them.


Her:  Like Stacey’s dad’s letter at her wedding, read by Uncle Brin?


Me.  A little.


Her: That’s TV Dad.


Me:  Okay.  I wasn’t thinking of a Speak and Say, where I write a letter for every event in your life.


Her: Don’t know what that is, but good.  We don’t want to be opening letters our whole life from you Dad.  We love you but that is a bit odd.


Me: Okay.  But can I can I write something for each of you and talk to you.  To say…


Her:  Yes.


Him:  No hugging.  No learning.

Day 94



Me:  Day?

Him: 94.

Day 92

Day 91

Awake.  I don’t care what day.  I can’t waste key strokes.

Love letter 3.


How’s it going.  Things great here.  Lots of sleep.  Feel well rested.  Bit bored actually.  Think I’ll watch TV later.  Don’t have time to fuck around.  Here’s the thing.  I love how you handle the stuff that mattered.  And thankfully, we had to face very few things that mattered.  But in part, that is because you let a lot of big things happen easily.  Like a trip to and from Moscow.  Like being a doctor in a new clinic in Moscow.  Like driving to emergency calls in the back streets of Moscow, not being able to read the alphabet to find and treat patients.  What bravery.  Who does that?   Like Miscarriage.  Like the third infertility treatments that failed month after month after month.  You’d start spotting and we’d finally fall asleep. Spooning and tears.  I held you so tight.  And cancer. And the swiss ball.  If we had time, if my hands could last I would tell these stories.  But we’re out of time.

I love you that you avoid drama.  We’ve had dramatic moments.  But you’ve avoided the drama each and every time.  You dampen.  You don’t amplify.  And that let’s me avoid the drama.

And my dad died.  And I had to deliver the Eulogy.  And I speak every day of my life in front of large crowds.  And you knew I was losing it.  You knew I almost didn’t stand.  And no one else knows. And you’ve never said anything dramatic about that.   I know you are a geeky nerd that smells of horse.  And you know that I almost failed my dad when it really mattered.  And never said a word. Just held and steadied by very shaking, very sweaty hand.

So thanks for the years without drama.  Better to hold hands and watch is on TV.  Kids, your Mom can be trusted with your darkest secret and your deepest pain. She will protect them and protect you.  But you need to let her in.

Otherwise, all great here. A bit quiet.   Thinking of ordering room service tonight – Tacos.




ME:  I’m running out of strength.  It is all too quick.  Too rushed.  Not how I wanted it to go.


HER:  Given this is our first time, I think it is going well. And thank you.  

Day 90

Day 89

Day 88



Left hand moves.


Church.  Sort of.  Steeple.  Sort of.


Key board?




Her hands move the keyboard gently under my weakened hands.


Me:  Hello.


Her:  Hello.


Me:  Day?


Her:  88


Me:   Wonder?  How am I?  Really?


Her:  Not great.  Things are shutting down?


Me: What’s left.


Her:   Tubes and skin.  The great reconstruction isn’t going well.


Me:  Hands hurt.


Her:  Wait a day.


Me:  Tomorrow, shoot me up with all you got.


Her:  All we got is what got you here.


Me:   Christ.