Yesterday I took a friend and neighbour for a lung biopsy at a local outpatient surgery centre. We sat around for an hour, until the hospital remembered that Leigh was there, waiting for the procedure to begin.

She went back. I stayed in the waiting area, reading Stalingrad, Vasilly Grossman’s novel about the epic battle. He writes many small vignettes that stand on their own for what they describe. He is describing the epic battle while at the same time detailing the lives of characters completely unrelated to the battle itself. So I’m reading as the characters convey their shock at how a civilised people (the Germans) could descend into barbarism. There is an intimacy to this writing. The characters figuratively leap from the page, joining me in the waiting area.

About two hours elapse, when a nurse enters the area to tell me the test is over and Leigh will be out in about fifteen minutes, that I should get the car, to be ready to meet her in the pick up area.

As we leave the hospital campus, Leigh very calmly tells me her cancer has returned. They will treat this lung cancer with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, because the tumour site is too close to the aorta for surgery. She is the very personification of optimism.

I return home, very grateful for my small pile of problems and the relatively minor nature of my son’s medical predicament.

I’m not writing about Friday, am I? I just roasted five ears of corn, in order the take the kernels of the cobs and use in a Southwest corn and black bean salad. I trust we have the inclination to eat it. We have been eating at restaurants almost daily, taking advantage of the freedom of movement provided by full COVID-19 vaccination.

So I hope to fix a nice dish and have a nice meal at home. I’m tired. My eyes are dry. I need more sleep

I’m going back to bed.