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Fallen

By Morgan Baker

When he calls out from the kids’ bathroom down the hall and asks for his EpiPen, don’t panic.

      Wake up, slip your feet into your sneakers and lace them up while you walk into the bathroom and hand him the EpiPen. Maybe you’ll be able to drive him to the hospital the way you used to.

     “Do I look red?” he asks, looking down his body.

     “I can’t tell in this light,” you say as you hold your cell phone in your hand, ready to call, just in case. Watch him inject the Epi in his thigh, count to ten, all while sitting on the john.

     You won’t drive him. He can hardly hold his head up.

     Hit the 911 buttons on the phone and say what you’ve said too many times before. “My husband’s having an anaphylactic reaction. Yes, he’s breathing.”

     He stands. He falls.

     “Oh my God,” you say into the phone. “He’s fallen. I don’t know. Are you breathing?”

     Your husband nods his head as he lies prostrate on the blue bathroom tiles. He pushes himself up and returns to the sitting position.

     

About the Author

Morgan Baker teaches at Emerson College where she won the Stanzler Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Her work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Dead Housekeeping, Cognoscenti, The Boston Globe, Talking Writing, Brain Child, The Manifest-Station, and the anthology Done Darkness. She lives with her husband and two Portuguese Water Dogs in Cambridge, and is the mother of two grown daughters.

 

 

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