By Ruth Z. Deming
He was late, very very late. I was frantic, but I had gotten a message
he would soon be here.
I was diverting myself by talking to a former boyfriend, Russell
Eisenman, now living in McAllen, Texas. The poorest county in the United
Russell was still teaching. I remembered when he and I would play tennis
at Wall Park in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
The train whistle blew. A soothing sound.
I’ll bet if I looked in my “falling-apart” green silk address book, his
name and number would still be there.
A veritable history of my life.
The UPS man had finally arrived.
He handed me the flat package that read “Extremely urgent” – “Express” –
“UPS” ensconced in a deep brown shield.
I smiled at the man, hoping that none of the unsalted nuts I was eating
didn’t mar my teeth.
“There was a big pile-up on the Turnpike,” he said to me, holding out
“I know a couple of back roads, which I used, without leaving the Turnpike.”
He knew the package must get here ASAP, since medication was inside.
I did not say a word about the medication.
HARVONI. Pink pills, shaped like Cinderella’s glass slipper.
In my 76 years here on earth, I had taken thousands of meds.
Lamictal, Depakote, Tacrolimus, Prednisone, Klonopin (or Klonny for
short), and I had many different physicians for my many problems.
Scuse me while I eat some more nuts.
I learned to use the word “Sir” from my daughter, Sarah Lynn Deming, who
donated her kidney to me.
Problem was – and this is a biggie – it gave me insulin-dependent diabetes.
Fuckin pain in the ass.
If you look at my fingers, you can’t tell that I stick them to check my
sugar level at least four times a day.
My fingernails are neatly cut. I clip them with an enormous silver
scissors that one of my many lawn cutters left here years ago.
Have I told you I have COVID-19?
My blue-eyed boy, Daniel Paul Deming, brought me and Scott a self-test.
Both Scott and I took the test and as we waited, the “blue line” began
Sort of like a pregnancy test, but this was a disease test.
I thanked the UPS delivery man.
Pulling aside my blue mask, I said, “And what is your name, sir?”
“Russell,” he said.
“You did a great job, Russell.”
I went inside, bent over the kitchen sink, and ran some cold water.
I am not that particular and I easily gulped down the pills.
Then I rested on one of my two red couches I had purchased at Gamburg’s
Furniture in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
Damn. I was in quarantine for five whole days. Well, now it is down to
My good friend Ron had taken his own life, as did a few more of my friends.
If only they had waited longer, perhaps Covid would have killed them.