I frequently go for hikes in the mountains and canyons that surround Los Angeles, or in the desert a couple of hours from the city. I marvel at the views, at the wildlife large and small and at the flora but, especially with the flora, I have no idea what I am looking at. I could no sooner identify a brush or a plant than I could a mathematical equation. And it’s my loss, stemming from living in a culture that doesn’t place much value in such knowledge.
We said goodbye as if it were the end of school: email addresses exchanged, and the vague promise, most likely not kept, to see each other again.
J, who exudes altruism from every pore, brought gift bags for each and one of us. P, who professes not to cook, tried to keep us healthy with a kale salad, a mission I destroyed with my sinful cake. Both joy and sadness filled our pockets.
The woman with the crisp white coat who showed me into the darkened ultra-sound room was familiar. In fact, I remembered her well, because her name is Claudia, and she is from Brazil. It’s an odd examination, the ultra-sound: you are in a darkened room, in close proximity to a technician who slides a wand up and down your goop-covered abdomen (in my case), and stares at a screen, without uttering a word on what she is seeing. You can’t make aimless chitchat because she is concentrating so you are left with eyes turned towards the ceiling, wondering if she is seeing something you are not going to know about until your doctor calls you.