today after showering and getting everything ready and after the physical therapist came and showed me the breathing trainers i sat and waited to be taken away. a nurse came with a can of shaving cream and two crappy little disposable razors and said they wanted me to shave my chest. i moaned and whined and said that in america they do that for you after you've been put under and i thought what the hell am i paying these people for? they brought alex's spaghetti and meat sauce lunch which sucked for me because on the day there's decent looking food i can't eat it. i waited and waited until a doctor came and informed me that the surgery would not be happening today. the professor wants to have time for me and there isn't enough time left. i slid in my chair towards the floor and asked if this meant i would need to have another laxative. it took a few tries for the doctor to understand my question and finally she indicated affirmatively until the doctor and the shaving-cream nurse exchanged a few words in german about my question and the nurse said no, i wouldn't need another one and i exclaimed to the doctor to please tell the nurse that i like her and they both exploded with laughter. i explained to the doctor that the nurse and i were on the rocks before but now we were going to be just fine. they told me i could eat now and that my choices were fish and chips or spaghetti and fish and chips?!?! really?? fried food??? seriously?? she said, follow me. as i hopped behind her i thought aloud, a U.K. national treasure! but before i was done the fish and chips became some kind of baked cod and rice dish and meh, just give me the spaghetti.
i thought i could use the rest of the day to go into the city and find a better pillow. there has to be a chain store everywhere that sells bedding like german bed bath and beyond and they've got to have something that at least tries to imitate an american pillow. alex's father had come to visit him and they helped me figure it out: matratzen concord. i found the website and figured out berlin zip codes and mapped out exactly which one i was going to and how to get there. S2 south to pankow. pankow U2 south to eberswalder straBe. it's right near the subway station. i can be back in less than two hours. i'n looking for kopfkissen. kopf means head, alex explained. kissen means to kiss. kopfkissen. pillow.
i walked up to the nurses' station to explain my grand scheme. first they said, yes, i could leave. really? great. then they clarified, you can leave the ward, but you can't leave the hospital. i moaned and whined and fought some more but all of it was getting tiring and they said they would wait to speak to a doctor about it and i knew they never would and they never did. alex and his father spoke at length in german while i sat in the corner of our room and held back tears until i could finally sleep.