Day 14.

I have a cold. Church Lady started sniffling a few days after we got here and her bed is right next to mine, so I was pretty sure I’d catch whatever she had but hoped I wouldn’t. Today is a very light day as far as procedures, so I’ve spent my last morning here sleeping and getting up to blow my nose.

Speaking of Church Lady, yesterday the little cluster of people who sleep near me -- who have all become, if not friends, at least familiar enough to spend a lot of time together playing games and watching movies and sitting together at meals -- were discussing which movies they wanted to watch before our time is up, and Church Lady said, “and I’ve got a movie I’d like to show everyone tomorrow. It’s only about 30 minutes.” Chatty said, “I never heard of a movie that’s only 30 minutes. Is it a documentary or something?” Church Lady said, “Yes, it’s a documentary.”

It all comes together. From the beginning, I was suspicious of the little magazines she reads alongside her Bible. Once, she set one down and the cover was mostly masked by the Bible on top of it but the last few letters of the title were visible: “ower.” But I thought she had said she was Catholic, so I forgot about it. But she must have been feeling bold yesterday because right after the conversation about her “documentary,” she left one of the magazines sitting right there on the bed, face up. The Watchtower. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

Everyone is in good spirits, jittery, making plans for their first meals on the outside. There’s a little sadness in the air, too. People really do make friends here, and I’m a little envious. I remember a couple times, when I was a teenager, going to an Episcopal youth group retreat for a week in the summer (I was a dabbler at that age), how quick and intense the friendships were and how sorrowful the goodbyes.

We get out tomorrow at about 8:30 a.m. M and I had plans for a reunion dinner tomorrow evening, and I was getting a group of friends together for a movie on Thursday night, but I chatted with M this morning and he’s sick too, has a fever and a sore throat, so I don’t know what either of us will be up for. I guess we’ll wait and see how we feel tomorrow. Abandon any hope of fruition.