August 30

“Have you been keeping busy?” the orderly asks, smiling.
“A little,” I croak. My voice is crackling and broken; I haven’t spoken more than five or ten words today. My throat feels like it’s on fire, and the world is swaying around me; even looking into the mirror was a bad idea, because it threatened to throw off my equilibrium. Only the sight of the Steamer anchored me, which when you think about it is really perverse.
Then again, my answer is a bit of a lie, as well. It’s true that finals wrapped up last week, and that Kyle has been flitting back and forth between the apartment and the student center in order to get all her papers in order for the move to New York. Naturally, helping her has consumed a lot of my time. But, if there had been any time travelers passing through this era lately, I wouldn’t have had time to help her pick out clothes. Subsequently I wouldn’t have gotten drenched in that rainstorm last Friday.
“Well, just sit right down, and the PA will be with you soon,” the orderly says. She waves vaguely at the examination bed in the room on the left. I nod and pull myself up onto it. As she closes the door to the exam room, the door across the hall opens.

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