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Coffee & Crumbs

A Stirring Story

I stare laser beams into my phone. I don’t know if it will be a call or an email or a Hogwarts owl swooping down with news. Caw!

We spend our lives waiting on results.

What are our grades

did we make the musical

college admission

pregnancy pee stick.

Our days are a constant queue at the theme park of life and I’m at the top of the hill dangling before the big drop.

I’m ready for the results, whatever day they come. I already have a plan. Of course I have a plan. I always have a plan and the more out of control I feel the harder I try to pin down whatever I can.

Our good friends had given us the most expensive bottle of red wine I’ve ever had, and I tucked it in the back of the pantry. When the results come, whatever they are, I’m going to open the wine, Alex is going to sit on the barstool at the kitchen counter, and I’m going to stir risotto while we sip together, whether in celebration of good news or comfort for bad.

I think the stirring will be centering. Risotto takes time, and I want to take the time. I want to create something wonderful with my hands while my mind wraps around whatever the news is.

I refresh email for the thousandth time.

A new one pops up. Test results await … CLICK.

My eyes scan the medical jargon and hone in on the word I’m looking for: carcinoma.

I’m not a doctor, but I know that word. It’s official. The murder grape I found in my boob is cancer. I feel like Theoden at the beginning of the Battle of Helm’s Deep, standing in the dark, growling into the rain, “So it begins.”

My doctor calls and we talk through the next steps. Breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist. I’ll need a binder and some labels, I think. But first, risotto and red.

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