Gotham Diary:
11 July 2012

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Well, a little postscript won’t hurt. The procedure didn’t, either. Not that it ever has, really, but this time I was completely anaesthetized. Knocked out. It wasn’t the stuff that they’d used on the two or three previous colonoscopies; I could feel myself sinking into oblivion. But it was very short-term. The procedure was scheduled for 8 AM, and that is precisely when it began: I looked at the clock on the wall, moments before losing consciousness. When I came to, it was quarter-to-something; I thought that it must be ten, but, incredibly, it was 8:45. I don’t recall things happening anywhere near that quickly before, but then I haven’t ever actually looked at the clock before. When it was time to get off the gurney and put my clothes back on, I was a little wobbly for a few steps, but that was hardly surprising, given my age, the anaesthesia, and the fasting. By the time Ray Soleil picked me up, I was fine.

The prohibition on patients’ leaving the clinic on their own is very annoying. We are in Manhattan, after all, where taxis and car services abound. I have snuck out several times before, but this time it would not have been possible: a nurse saw me to the street door, and made sure that the passenger in the taxi knew who I was. Poor Ray — I’d told him that I wouldn’t need him for another hour. But the clinic asked for his number, and they called him while I was in recovery. He scrambled up quickly. As it turned out, Kathleen could easily have picked me up; she was still at home when we got back to the apartment. But we thought, as I say, that it would take longer.

As a veteran of umpteen colonscopies, I want to insist that there is only good reason for dreading the procedure: fasting is a great bore. A great bore. But about the procedure itself there is simply nothing to complain. Not any more. If only a visit to the dentist could be half as comfortable!


I hadn’t seen Ray in a while, so we had a lot of catching up to do. During lunch, at the Seahorse Tavern, we indulged in the favorite pastime of redesigning Fossil Darling’s apartment. If only he would listen to us! (But, as Mrs Grimmer says, “People are so queer!“)


Later on in the afternoon, I went downtown to fetch Will. Something had come up for his mother, and his father couldn’t get away. Of course they would have managed to get him if I hadn’t been around, but I was around. The car was waiting for us when we came outside, and the driver was by now familiar, having taken us uptown two times before, and we all shook hands in the driveway of our apartment building. Even (especially) Will, who had to transfer a toy bus from one hand to the other. 

Will likes to have a quiet time when he gets home, his mother tells me, and I took full advantage of this when we got to the apartment: I filled a bottle with milk, put on Sean the Sheep, and sat him on my lap. And there we were when Kathleen came home. Kathleen’s arrival signaled the end of Will’s rest period; now he led her on a merry dance throughout the apartment, now out on the balcony, now coloring on the living-room floor. When Ryan arrived after work, Will pulled out a story book about a “shark” and demanded that his father read it to him. Trouble was, the book is in Dutch, it was Ted van Lieshout’s Ik ben een held, with great drawings by Silvia Weve that do, in fact, make the eponym of the third story, “Blauw vis,” look like a shark. I am going to have to work up translations.

We had a quick dinner at Viand, the coffee shop on the corner across the street. When it was time to go, Will picked up his plate of French fries, to take it with. Kathleen worked out a compromise, and wrapped up the fries in a napkin. A few of these, transferred to a small bowl, were actually eaten back at the apartment.