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On the second to last day of August, I evaporate. Folks are glad to see me do it.

I had a week hunched up in a lab, so cold I had to wear a sweater. I am grateful for windows. I am grateful for company other than classic rock DJs and battered old New Yorkers. They tell me they are grateful for me and ask me what I would name myself, name my children. We are working in a warehouse we refer to as the Church, partly for the arcs and partly for the skylights. The sun is fickle and so are we but each of us gets a halo, squinty, saintly, for five or so minutes. Three days ago this would have made me angry, in the way that impermance often do. Today I bask and burn.

I stood in line behind a blind girl at the ATM. She asked me to read her the screens on the machine. (Here's an exercise in irony: The keypad is printed with Braille, as well as standard numerals.)

Following my surgery, I drove to the doctor's office to get lab results and a followup exam. My tummy was still puffy and the receptionist's nails so long she could not type. (Lab results: I had, in fact, appendicitis. Followup prognosis: Good. I had assumed as much. I am still getting $1,500 bills for having had it confirmed.) On the way out of the doctor's parking lot and onto the highway, I rolled down the window and spotted two ten-year-olds and a basketball. They asked me for a ride. I took them, not asking even for their names, to a trailer park a few miles up the highway, silently grateful it was me and not a bastard at that particular intersection that particular afternoon.

I see the blind girl often, but - no cruel little pun intended - she does not see me. She doesn't know my name.

There is one other thing, a compliment (a series) I got from a boy. I did not believe him until last week. Not because the words were his, but because of my shoddy ears, to which are words and compliments were arbitrary at best, lies at worst, but often both. I have promised to try on some new pairs of less-shoddy ears. I have promised to drink compliments like wine, and today I am drunk. That's the best I can do.

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