February 20, 2021, 3:20 am.
Jess is standing next to my bed eager to talk. “I couldn’t sleep,” she begins. “I have a problem with one of my tonsils.” I roll over rub my achy shoulder and open one eye. “Did you say tonsil?”
Jess nods. “My throat was sore so I looked inside and saw some white at the back where the tube turns to go down. It’s on one side. The other one looks fine.”
“Are you feeling sick?”
“No, but a white, puss-filled tonsil is not good. I might need surgery.”
I sit up, pat the bed. I can’t open both eyes, am grateful its dark. “What got you interested in tonsils?” I close my open eye.
“Don’t go back to sleep. This is serious. I read about tonsillectomies. They remove your tonsils and you can’t eat runtil the wound heals.” Jess exhales loudly. “I don’t want surgery. Would you get me some antibiotics?”
“I didn’t know you had a sore throat. You didn’t say anything.”
Jess scrubs her hands together faster and faster and paces around the bed.
“I don’t feel sore, just weird like there’s something in my throat in the way of my swallower.”
“When I was a child in the fifties many children had their tonsils out because parents were told tonsils made kids sick. Tonsillectomies grew popular. My mother didn’t believe it. So my sister and I have ours. Some kids at school thought our tonsils would them sick.”
“People still get them cut out. I read about it.” I hear Jess tapping her legs.
“Maybe we should take you to visit the doctor, to see what she sees in there.”
“I want my tonsils.”
I roll toward Jess and open my eyes. It’s not Jess. It’s my grandson, Ryan. He and Liza take turns bringing me middle of the night inspiration, acting as muse. Tonight is his turn.