It wasn’t the coughing. I was awake before that.
He’s always worse at night. Ever since the plague, his lungs haven’t been the same. He says it’s not bronchitis, but we’ve been here before and I know what I’m hearing.
That’s why I’m not-sleeping
on his couch tonight.
It pisses him off. He wants to know what gives me the right to stay over, uninvited.
But I know what gives me the
right, and he knows too even if he doesn’t want to admit it.
I guess that’s why I was
already awake when he started coughing. And why I’m not surprised to find
him sitting on the bathroom floor, barking and wheezing like some kind of asthmatic golden retriever. I take the syrup out of his hand, before he can spill any more. There’s
codeine, and he’ll take it because I say he will. Steam from the shower
will help loosen up his lungs. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll make
him sit in his greenhouse so the night air can help him breathe.
He says he doesn’t want
me, but as far as I’m concerned he’s got no say in the matter.
Because I know what he needs.