Saturday, May 13

Enter the hoodie.

"Here." She left her dripping umbrella open on the tile floor of the dim atrium and tossed a brown shopping bag onto the couch next him.

"Whad is id?" He eyed the soggy paper package doubtfully.

"It's a hoodie. All your other shirts are either for work, or they're threadbare t-shirts." She half-unlaced her boots before tugging them off and tossing them in a corner. "I can't believe you didn't have a hoodie."

"Whad is a hoodie?" He snurfled, apologized for snurfling, and groped for a tissue before letting out an enormous sneeze.

"A hooded sweatshirt. Man, it's cold in here. Did you not turn on the heat or anything?" She took off her jacket in shrugs and jerks--it was so stiff with the rainwater--and went to open the curtains and let in a little of the thin blue daylight that struggled down through the rain and fog. The familiar smell of the apartment was mingled with the scents of rain and wet cement.

Looking over her shoulder at the gangly figure on the couch, she was a little startled at what she saw; there were enormous black and purple hollows under his eyes and his skin was a pasty, ghostly shade of what it had been the day before. She pulled her hair back into a ponytail and took a deep breath.

"Logan."

"Yes."

"Have you spent the entire day without turning on the heater?"

He sneezed.

She really had to resist the urge to laugh at him; his legs were so long they made his sweatpants oddly reminiscent of pantaloons and the rest of him was swathed in fleece blankets of a garish plaid pattern while his balding head was veiled by another blanket in a teddy bear motif.

"Logan, that's not cool." They had three extra blankets in the linen closet that she shook out and spread over his lap and tried to tuck around his feet, but his dignity got the better of him and he stiffly poked the blankets beneath his feet with freezing fingers.

"I'be dod thad zig. I juzd deed sob rezd."

"You do need rest. I don't think you should teach tomorrow."

"I bight feel bedder layder."

"Ok. Up to you. I'm gonna make some tea and light a fire. Chicken soup alright for dinner tonight?"

"Gread."

He came out of the shower a half hour later wearing the hooded sweatshirt and a pair of jeans that were more hole than denim (he had jeans! wow!), and proceeded to sit on the couch again with his bony bare feet stretched towards the grate. She came in a few minutes later with a cup of tea ("Is id blag dea?" "Peppermint." Everybody knew he only drank herbal tea. "Thagz.") and left him absent-mindedly scratching at what looked like the stubbly beginnings of a patchy beard.

Tuesday, May 2

From a new character.

dear aunt jerry,

We're in Europe, now, and we're both doing fine. Logan teaches all day and so far I've stayed at the hotel reading in the cafe in the lobby, which is nice. That's where I am now. I promised to send Mom a postcard, you know?

I'm feeling better than I was at home, not so much with the nausea now but I still can't sleep right and I have awful headaches in the mornings. I stay in bed, mostly. Thank you for the Burt's Bees kit and the flowers, they are lovely. The foot creme is my favorite. Logan looks at me funny when I sit indian-style on the bed and smell my feet and when I wear the cotton socks to bed. The maids loved the flowers too but they think I'm pregnant or something. They don't speak English so it's kind of funny.

I wanted to go out for everybody's sakes, but there's nothing I want to see that I can see. There isn't much to do here, and anybody I talk to says not to go outside in this part of the city. I am not paying the taxi fares, though, they are terrible.

I think I want to find a place where I can find some cafes and sit, or maybe some parks. Maybe I'll take up smoking. Did Uncle John smoke?

Anyway, Logan should be getting off soon, and he'll bring back food. Probably Indian food, because the restaurants and room service are so expensive. Not that they'd be as good. I like the Indian food, and we can put our throw-away stuff on somebody else's room service tray when they're done (that was my idea).

Got to finish Mom's postcard. Can you still meet us in Paris? Thanks again for the gifts.

yours,

meg