We stopped at Vons and I paced back and forth while David selected a carton of Epsom salt and carefully read the back of boxes containing pain patches and heat pads. "OW. Come on," I whined. David, sweet, dear, patient David, scooped up a few of the boxes and hurried through the check-out.
David looked left for me all the way home. When I turned to the right to look at him in the passenger seat, I could see my agony reflected in his face and wondered how much of his torment was from empathy and how much from simply having to put up with my histrionic suffering.
I frowned my way up the stairs, harrumphing with each step. Dr. Leo had also suggested I drink plenty of water; when I reached the bathroom, I paused to guzzle half of the bottle I'd picked up at Vons. David had already dimmed the lights and was seated on the side of the tub, his hand under the running water to gauge its temperature. "You're so good to me," I said.
Maintaining the dramatic spectacle of one whose every movement is torturous, I shed my clothing. I can't stand hot water. My showers are tepid at most. So when my toes dipped into the tub, I sucked and blew the air in quick, shallow breaths and I released my swan song of complaint for the day, a melodic, tapering mantra of "Owowowow! Ow. Oh. Ahhhh."
Once all but my head was submerged, I sighed with pleasure and looked at my blue-eyed savior, who was on his knees by the tub, using his hands to collect and drop a steady stream of hot salty water around my neck.
"What did I do to deserve you?" I asked.
"I'm still waiting to find out," David joked. I flicked my fingers in the tub to splash water on him and, laughing, he leaned over and kissed me on the forehead.