Five Points, Vol. 3 No. 1Fall 1998
From Ellen Bryant Voigt: “We have a huge appetite for order; that’s part of the human animal. We love form of any kind. We just want it, and we want it to continue.”
That morning Allan Meltzer had an asthma attack and was taken to the hospital. It disrupted the class, and Miss Porter, the teacher, felt herself edge toward panic. Her husband was in Seattle trying to save things. A once-big man in the airline industry, was Jack—gone a lot these days, even when home: money troubles, drinking through the evenings to calm down. She too. They drank separately, and he’d been abusive on occasion. They were going to pieces.
A wonderful word—cordials. She’d drink cordials in the nights, bouncing around alone in the house. She felt no bitterness, considered herself a fighter. They were in serious debt, living on cash only, bills piling up. This month’s cash was gone. The house was empty of cordiality. She had no appetite, to speak of, and nothing to drink. A terrible morning.
But she got herself up and out to work. And Allan had the asthma attack.