Got to stick to the timer, which I will set now, because Sekhnet is very stressed about leaving on time to be more than three hours early for my knee replacement surgery today. I woke up with the poor, stripped joint yowling top volume, the limp to the bathroom was harder than usual. So, off to have the knee replaced.
For some reason, I need a few moments to compose myself before showering with the special antibacterial soap they gave me and packing my overnight bag for the hospital. This I should not be doing, with only 29 minutes remaining to the time I promised to leave (compromise– we’ll only arrive 20 minutes before they asked me to be at the hospital two and a half hours prior to surgery), but, God help me, I can’t help myself.
Years ago, before a trip to London, I agreed to leave whenever Sekhnet wanted. I have a history of arriving at airports at the last minute and even once missed a flight because of it. So, to avoid stress, we arrived four hours before the international flight. When we got there she turned to me with a big smile and said “isn’t this nice?”. I gave her a grim version of a smile and nodded, wondering if I’d manage not to kill myself in all that time in a terminal before a long flight. I hate getting up early as much as I hate an unneccesarily long wait. Sekhet put her head down on our luggage and feel into a deep, happy sleep.
On the airport PA, as I paced, they kept paging Mohammed Atta, asking him to call the desk. “Mohammed Atta,” a woman’s voice said every two or three minutes, “please use a courtesy phone to call the main desk.” A coincidence, I know, since the only Mohammed Atta I ever heard of blew himself up on one of the planes the maniacs crashed into the World Trade Center. Sekhnet had been at the catastrophe as it unfolded, filming the horrors for the news station she worked for, and still suffers PTSD and other health troubles from being in the toxic cloud when the first tower fell. I looked over at her and watched her happily sleeping.
“Good for you,” I thought. She certainly didn’t need to hear them paging Mohammed Atta over and over.