She is so scared. I can always tell when she’s scared; she has this look on her face, and it’s not so different from the look she had when she was three years old and we were walking through Times Square, and the crowd was overwhelming her. I reached down then and picked her up and slowly the fear drained from her face. She was happy again. I cannot pick her up now. She stares at the monitor, the one that shows who will be called next. D113. C149. E228.
I look at her card again. It is A102.
She doesn’t want to talk. Sometimes, when she gets like this, I can coax her out of it, talk about something comfortable and familiar that will ease her mind. In the days after she had her tonsils removed she was in so much agony and filled with such righteous anger about the unfairness of the world that the only way I could get her to take the pain medicine was to sit with her, hold her close, and recite the names of Barbie’s 12 Dancing Princesses with her.