Cathy Jamison wakes up to certain evidence that her husband is still surviving cancer, and probably has been surviving cancer since the break of dawn. In the summertime the days are long. The summer's almost over.
The ceiling over Cathy's bed has sprouted images: A bouquet of roses, a heart drawn in shells in the sand, a monarch butterfly, a sunset over a beach, a healthy rainbow. They come into focus slowly; she holds her eyes open to make them come in clearer; Paul is mopping the upstairs hallway, and offers her breakfast.
"Who knows how much bacteria has accumulated on these floors and seeped into the soles of your feet since we moved in? Fungal mold spores cause cancer: Google it."
He is wearing yellow gloves. The pictures over the bed, Paul explains, are called a Vision Board. Wake up to good thoughts, and you'll be healed. They're like a declaration of your will, to say that you prefer to live in a world with roses, and rainbows, and butterflies.
"I'm ambulatory," Cathy groans affectionately: "I can still clean floors." Paul says she can't do it all, though anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise, and proudly gestures with one rubber-gloved hand: "I'm going to be your cancierge!" That gets a full laugh, one of the deep ones he loves the best, and she's finally awake.
"I might sleep on the couch but I'm not letting you do this alone," he says, wiping the lintel above the bathroom door. Scrubbing. She reminds him that they don't have a couch anymore, that it lives in the pool hole now, but he's been awake all morning. When he tells her about the new couch, she proves ambulatory indeed.
"You bought a new couch? No!"
Yes. In a delightful color he calls Montana Moss. Hands to her head, she wonders how to approach this. She wanted to pick the new couch. Now she doesn't have to. And when Paul offers to accompany her on her Canada trip today, to see the bee man, he can't imagine why she'd say no. Dr. Todd has offered to come, she says, "because he's a doctor," but that's not really the truth either. He has offered to come because they are on a road together, and this is a road trip they have to take together. Because Cathy has things handled. It's what she does. Because Paul can't afford to wish on beestings, even if Cathy can.
Paul grins, softening his words: "Don't get all possessive of your cancer, Cathy! I've seen the x-rays, there's plenty to go around."
Cathy looks her husband in the eye: "I've got this." He corrects her pronoun.