Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Patricia Foster, a professor in the MFA program at the University of Iowa, is the editor of four essay collections and the author of the nonfiction books All the Lost Girls and Just beneath My Skin. She recently drove a thousand miles with her husband to the ocean in order to write about life in Iowa. She is working on a book about illness and marriage.
Outside my bedroom window the trees are wrapped in fog. Silvery threads of rain coat the glass. It’s not yet dawn, and I don’t know why I’m awake. I rub my eyes, pulling the sheet closer around my shoulders as I sink back into bed. And then I remember: the 5 AM check. I push aside the covers, grab my glasses, and glance at the clock: 4:55. I’ve awakened before the alarm. Trained.
My husband stands at the front of the bus, one hand clutching a rail, the other gripping a strap, his hospital gown floating below a puffy blue winter jacket.