I saw N. at the bank. She turned her back slightly as she filled out her deposit slips, and again when she walked out, so that our eyes wouldn’t meet and neither one of us would have to say hello. Her son is in a hospital with an inoperable brain tumor, just like that, after a bad headache during an otherwise normal day. I think I know why she turns away. Because pleasantries are painful, filling out the deposit slip is painful, the fact that you have to keep filling out forms, and getting gas, and starting your car, and putting dishes in the dishwasher, as if nothing has happened. Time tortures, with its insistent reminders to get moving, get organized, keep going, even when the place you were going has been erased. Your path weaves crazily up into the sky, roped around trees, diving underground. Still the clock ticks, keeps ticking, keep going, hurry up hurry up, don’t be late.