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  • It was very dark and quiet when I got up. Used to hearing cars zooming by and hitting potholes as they try to make the streetlight outside my new york apartment – the quiet was erie and might have actually been what woke me up.

    As I raised myself out of my bed, I listened carefully to see if anyone else was up. If they weren’t, I was in the clear and could get ready in peace. So I slowly opened the door and crept downstairs. Safe so far – no awkward intersections with my mother or deep emotions coming from my sister or brother. Thankfully, they seemed to actually be getting some sleep.

    I wandered into the kitchen, aimlessly. Microwave clock said 5:20am. Suddenly, I was struck with indecision – do I wake them and deal with what’s to come, or should I let them sleep and find whatever peace came from this passing time ? Would there be more stress because I’ve let them oversleep ? Does someone want coffee? I couldn’t really think. But thinking was not what I was there for – or wait – was it?

    Where are the fucking coffee filters ? Does this coffee pot even use filters ? Dammit Dad, seriously. Why would you keep the sugar and all other condiments right by the coffee pot and not where you keep the coffee ? I don’t live here, how am I supposed to be nice and figure out how to make everyone coffee. I give up .

    I sit at the kitchen table. My eyes zoom over to the wall/desk my mom keeps. It’s mostly junk. I spy Dad’s watch. I hate that watch. I still don’t understand why he likes things so thin, but then again I never have. Next to it is his cell phone charging. Is this a joke ?

    All of a sudden I sit there at this table and begin to see things in that kitchen that so often I have glanced over. Little objects become fixations for me. The watch. A pen. A pad of paper that has someone’s writing on it about Taxes. Had I ever really seen that picture of my parents and my nephew before? Should I be crying? Would normal people be crying?

    A shower. I go to take a shower.

    By the time I am done I can hear stiring downstairs. I go down to find my mother making her tea – apparently she’s given up the coffee anyway. With everything I have, I manage to actually make eye contact with her. She seems alright. She’s taking care of business. My relief sets in. I realize I can continue in a pseudo-denial for a bit longer. No Mom drama. No family pessimism. I have time before we head to the hospital, before the truth is out there in the universe.

    Today is the day that Dad is going to pick to die.
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