we have no money but we’ve somehow come into owning a house.  it’s falling apart.  the wood siding is rotting, the paint was worn off years ago.  but the big farm house is ours.  we move in – me, my mother, my ex, some other people that have nowhere to go.  the house is cold and damp and there is no electricity.  but there is a roof over our heads and a wood stove.  i go upstairs to check on my ex.  he is feverish and sweaty and laying in bed.  i touch his forehead.  his fever is dangerously high.  he’s dying. i tell him he has to go to the emergency room.  he doesn’t fight the suggestion. he can hardly speak.
downstairs my mother is coughing.  she’s also not feeling well.  i call 911. i am on hold for an excruciatingly long time.  i ask what our new address is. my mother says just to tell them that we’re in the 4000’s but i don’t think that’s right.  i think we’re in the last section of 3000’s. in any case, we’re the house before the field. they can find us that way.  when the dispatcher answers she tells me that ambulances don’t go out that far.  neither will the police. i think this is absurd.  i yell at her.  i tell her we don’t have heat.  she says that we shouldn’t be living there then. nobody lives out that far. (we are the last house on this country road but still close to neighbors.) she tells me to call a cab.  i tell her we can’t afford that and if an ambulance or the police won’t come out this far why does she think a cab would?  she’s bitchy and gives me no answers, no options for helping my family.  i cry. i panic. i wrack my brain for any other option.  it’s been hours of frantically trying to get help when my mother announces that she doesn’t need a doctor.  she’s feeling better.  i go upstairs to check on my ex. he’s still warm but not as sweaty.  he says he’s feeling better and he’ll be fine.  now i’m crying out of frustration and exhaustion.  “relax,” he tells me.  as if i was all worked up over nothing.