You take a decent man. I know him, you see? I know that taxi man,” the driver said. “A decent man, but whatever you think he is, you give him one more reason to think of life as indif erent education, right?”
“I see,” I said again. “Don’t you want to know how I know?” the driver added, his voice cool, recondite.
“What do you think you know?” I asked. “Look. Listen close. Some woman called the police about a taxi driver who was harassing her over an underpaid fare. She claims he started pressing buttons all over the machine when she wouldn’t entertain his hand on her thigh.”
“Listen,” Andi said. “Can you take us elsewhere?” The driver nodded and Andi told him our new destination. I was thirsty. All I was was thirsty.
The driver rounded the corner near Lincoln Street as the now-rising sun rusted the view. I threw some bills at him and stumbled out of the back, slamming the door. At six fifty in the morning, I called Gregory’s phone. It rang all the way to voicemail. And again every few minutes, each time until the ringing stopped and the voicemail clicked on. I went to the police station instead of St. Joseph’s, where Andi went. I’ve been known to abandon sense before. I stood in their lobby, dry-mouthed, for a long while before someone paid me any mind. Andi was supposed to call me the minute she got into Sara’s apartment to check if she was there before going to the hospital. She would seduce the doorman like she had done many times before, and he would let her in. She hadn’t called in the hour it took me to finally speak to one of the cops.
“Discharged,” the of cer said.
“Discharged?” I wanted to be sure I had heard her correctly.
“You want to know what happened to your friend, you say?”
“I do,” I said. “Then I already told you you should go to the hospital because it will be a while before he is discharged. I can’t tell you anything about what’s under investigation.”
“What’s his name?” “You’ve given me a description of the suspect, and all I’ve said is I cannot tell you what’s under investigation.”
“Why is he a suspect?” I asked again, fearing I hadn’t been clear the first time. I should have known better than to expect more.
“Look, sit down. I’m not working this case. There’s nothing I can add. So I suspect you will be better of where your friend is.”
I walked out into the coldest of Octobers. Breath as good as knives in the throat. At St. Joseph’s hospi- tal I could barely recognize this man who looks like me. Gregory was hooked up to all manner of tube and machine. And I wondered if this was the fate of every human body, if this was one way of a hope that hardly matters, every human body broken into, demanding an evolution into machine, dismissive of every felt sense.
Andi and Sara were there in that hallway peering into the ICU. Sara’s body couldn’t still itself. She was never particularly good at stillness. I walked up next to her and held her. She did not hold me back, but she leaned toward Andi as a child would lean into