Procedural

After the nurse calls her in I’m stuck sitting with Dana’s stepfather. There isn’t much for either of us to say in the bloated sterile silence. Part of me expected to detect a seething anger from the man, some sudsy fury carved out of a telemovie melodrama or maybe something more cartoonish but certainly palpable to the point of being very nearly visible. Instead he wore a sheet of nothing coated with small checkboxes and faintly drawn labels that listed normally gratis human manoeuvres; fatherly concern, conciliatory hug, softly stern but knowing look. Very few of them were checked.

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