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The steel door opened like a trap, revealing a man wearing a mask.  White coats and pastel scrubs were washed together under fluorescent lighting, dissolved against eggshell walls, forming the maze my mother, father, and I had snaked through with a lulled consciousness.  It wasn’t until we were about to step into the elevator that the image of a sick man snapped everything back into focus.  He couldn’t have been more than thirty-four, with dirty-blond spiky hair, square-ish rimmed glasses, a loose-knit sweater, jeans and Converse.  He would have been a normal, everyday sight, just another piece of the labyrinth we navigated, except for the paper medical mask looped around each of his ears, covering his nose and mouth.

The image of a man in an elevator is not terribly jarring.  It’s the image of a man somehow dehumanized–without individuality or identity, missing parts of his face–that is frightening.  A man that leans against the wall of the car with a distorted reflection, still and quiet.  Waiting.  A specter of what may come.

We board the elevator and move to the opposite wall, leaving a polite but purposeful gap between ourselves and the ghost of our fear.  My father looks up at the numbers, watching the lights move to the right as we ascend.  My mother looks to the floor.  I wonder about taking a picture of the man, Ala some portrait in the New Yorker.  But the camera on my phone isn’t good enough to capture the image I want, everything I see.  The lighting’s wrong, and there’s no way to snap the photo discreetly.  I think about asking the man if I may take a photograph of him for a moment, but that seems in bad form.  Disappointed, I continue to track him in periphery, attempting to diagnose the disease that must have caused the need for a mask.

He looks like he could be gay.  I wonder if he has AIDS.

Fuck, Liz–(I check myself)–Not all sick, gay people have AIDS.  And not all thin people are gay.  You fucking idiot.

Nothing else comes to me before we arrive at the 14th floor.  The door opens, and my parents and I file out, still maintaining a silently paranoid, almost reverent distance from the Dickensian apparition who directs our gazes forward, to stare blankly into a future unknown.

Hi there.  I’m Liz.  My father was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in April of 2012.  My parents are private people who are privately going through the process of seeing if my father is eligible for a lung transplant.  I am not a private person.  So I am blogging about this.  They do not know I am doing this.  Liz is not my real name.

It is my hope that writing will provide an outlet for me during this time regarding my father’s current and potential treatment.  If it helps other people, so much the better.  But we live in selfish times.  I will always write for myself first.  My apologies if this space, therefore, does not always speak to you.

If you do know who I am, please do not mention it.  My parents have their ways of dealing with things, and I have mine.  I do not wish for my ways to disturb their ways.  I thank you in advance for respecting this request.

I will, on occasion, write about or even review theater I see.  This is a deviation, I know.  It will not be helped.

Posts should generally happen weekly/bi-weekly.  I don’t know for how long, because that is dependent on what occurs with the process of my father’s treatment.

That’s it.  Let’s go.