greg’s chest

On Thanksgiving morning I drove around looking for a café where I could do a little writing and when I finally settled in at the Pasion Del Cielo in Coral Gables I got a call from Greg, a friend of mine from Redbar, and he told me like it was no big deal that he was in the hospital, that he’d been there for two weeks, that he admitted himself when he was having trouble breathing and after a few tests they told him he had congestive heart failure. He’s on the list for a transplant. Can’t have any guests because of COVID. They’re testing all his organs and everything’s up in the air, “But,” he said, a shrug in his voice, “I’m on the list.”

            Greg’s a restaurant manager in his 30s with two sons. He says he speaks with them on FaceTime every day. Sounds cucumber-cool about the whole thing.

He asks me in passing if I can pray for him and I tell him yes.

            There’s a silence then where neither of us knows what to say so I tell him about what’s been going on at the bar. That someone got COVID and we probably shouldn’t be going there as often as we do.

            Greg agrees.

There’s another silence and then a loud click and he tells me the nurse is coming and he’ll have to call me back so I wish him well and we hang up.

            I don’t really know what to say or think about any of this, which is tough because I usually take comfort in words.

            I suppose a prayer will do.

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