Friday, October 28, 2005

Faux Cappuccino ...

In the hospital cafeteria, I am an expert with the "cappuccino" machine. I frankly don't understand how the manufacturers of this contraption are allowed to bill what spews out of the spouts as "cappuccino" - I question whether there is a drop of coffee, much less espresso, anywhere in the finished product. It's really just a steaming cup of chemicals, I'm sure.

Hazelnut chemicals. Overly sweet hazelnut-flavored chemicals. I'm reminded of the scene in "The Great Muppet Caper" in the supper club when Fozzie Bear is shoveling spoonfuls of sugar into his glass of champagne and he says to the humans at the next table, "You know, if you add enough sugar, it tastes just like ginger ale!"

But I'm very skilled at knowing exactly when to release the button to fill my cup so that it's exactly full when the machine stops its whirring. (I think it's pretending to froth something when it makes that noise.)

It's not that I really even like this stuff. But it's become a habit. The weather is turning and my sleep pattern is out the window this week, so I'm chronically cold. On my way up to see my dad, I detour into the cafeteria and rustle up a cuppa, then I head up to dad's room and sit and sip while he fills me in on his latest health update.

I'm trying not to be too bitchy when I'm with him, but when he tries to shirk responsibility for this mess he's in, I open my mouth.

Today, one of the pastors of the church he technically belongs to came to see him. (Another Dave.) Dad listens to Dave because Dave has gone through a lot of the same things Dad is going through. This, of course, pisses my mother off (he won't listen to a word she says about any of this), but she's glad, at the same time, that he's listening to *someone.*

My father is not a religious man, but in times like these, I think he finds comfort in the pastors' visits. So today, after Dave said a prayer for him, my dad said, "I wish He could come down here and give me a swift kick," and I immediately said, "What do you think we're doing?"

I'm not religious, so I hardly think of myself as a vessel through which God is working, but we've all been kicking pretty hard this week.

I think we might be wearing him down. Today, after the dietician left, my father actually said, "Maybe this would be a good time for me to start cooking."

My father? Cooking? Willingly?

It's a miracle.

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