His tongue felt chalky but he told himself not to think about it; 'I'm not dying,' he actually said aloud at one point, and laughed then for no one else's benefit. He went back to work, finishing a few paragraphs, a column of numbers, a matchstick house, a book report, it doesn't matter. He wasn't dying of course but he was sick and didn't yet know it. When lightheadedness hit he thought it was dehydration, and the second glass of water reminded him that the first had been chalky, which worried him, which probably exacerbated his condition. He was standing next to his phone when his head started spinning, so he called a friend, who took him to the hospital, where they gave him a drip of something or a glass of something, it doesn't matter, and the nurse - whose perfect named was Cindy - told him not to worry, they'd fix him right up. In an accent he remembered from a TV show. Cindy said things like 'Oh you poor thing' and 'Just moved here last year,' and when she mentioned her husband worked at a law firm nearby he spent a moment pretending not to care and congratulated himself on it, as if he were more a man than he was, as if he had an idea of what that might entail. Which he did but refused to believe it. He patted her hand and said 'I promise not to die on your watch,' and she smiled back and walked out to fetch the doctor, and he thought to himself, 'She's a service employee,' and felt embarrassed by a whole host of things. When his wife showed up he was glad to see her but disappointed too, but not in himself.