Food for Thought

By Jennifer Moses

I am pushing my pine-green shopping cart—or buggy, as we say in Louisiana—through the wide, colorful aisles of the Whole Foods that recently opened up in Baton Rouge. This food-lover’s nirvana has people running up their credit cards with such items as chocolate almond tangerine cookies, mild basil-chipotle pesto and salmon so fresh it’s practically still swimming. The store opened, to much fanfare, in late July. Now it’s mid-September, just two weeks after Katrina, but business is brisk.…

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The Love We All Need

By Jennifer Moses

I grew up in a big rambling wooden house perched on top of a hill surrounded by woods and streams in McLean, Virginia, the second of four children of assimilated, wealthy, German-Jewish parents.

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God's Arms Are Very Long

By Jennifer Moses

The Other Women in the Room

Fiona is in the next bed. She is a trim blond woman with a worried face and a breathless, whispery way of speaking. She’s always hot. At night, when I’m huddling under the blankets, hugging myself for warmth, Fiona is resting under a single bed sheet while an oscillating fan, placed above her bed, makes whirring sounds like rain falling. Perhaps she is going through menopause, but I am unable to confirm this one way or another, as she is also currently menstruating, as am I. Fiona is 53: a fairly standard age for menopause. I, however, am only 43. Both of us carry thick hospital sanitary pads back and forth to the one shared bathroom. Fiona’s husband died more than 20 years ago, of cancer, after only three years of marriage, in this very same hospital. Fiona recognizes some of the oncology nurses from then. “So I guess you figured that you’ve had enough crap dropped on you for one lifetime?” I ask her on the third day of our being neighbors in the two beds on the west side of the room. “Something like that,” Fiona says.…

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