I don't know what time it is. Ten? The place is packed, and I'm feeling so guilty for bringing Stephen and Nicholas out here again that I can hardly look at Stephen. Well, it's the guilt and the lack of sleep for the last few days, I guess. I hunch over Nicholas curled shaking on my lap and I feel like I can't lift my head. Stephen's just as concerned that we make sure the redness and puffiness at the incision area is just irritation and not infection and that the odd behavior tonight, the sudden jumps Nicholas makes as if bitten, are, again, irritation and not something worse - but I can't stop feeling like the bad mother I would have been had I ever had children. Like some stereotypical hysterical woman. These are all selfish feelings and do nothing for Nicholas.
The lobby of the animal hospital is full of people and animals. A cat in a carrier. A big yellow dog with a wounded ear. A hamster in a plastic ball. On my lap, Nicholas breathes in little waves of shutter as we wait for his name to be called. To our right, sitting on the ledge of the long, padded booth is a forgotten sippy cup.