"Sick Kids in Love" by Hannah Moskowitz, List 1

September 27, 2022
After meeting Sasha in the hospital drip room, sixteen-year-old Isabel considers breaking her no-dating rule and giving love a chance.

This list covers "What's Your Favorite Place in New York?"–Chapter 6.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4
The High Line. Is that too cliché? If you go like midday on a weekday it’s not super touristy.
I used to go there every Wednesday during my residency, and I’d have a tuna melt, coleslaw, and a chocolate shake.
“Hospital” should be a setting on white noise machines. The nurses laughing at the station and the sound of their squeaky sneakers on the floor. The rush of the pneumatic tubes sending blood back and forth from the lab. The rhythmic beeping of someone rolling over onto an IV.
He’s watching something on his phone, but I’m thinking you’re pretty you’re pretty you’re pretty hard enough that I guess he hears it, which honestly is probably possible considering exactly how hard I am thinking it, and he looks up at me with an eyebrow quirked.
“DMARD infusions,” I say.
“I don’t know what that is.”
“Rheumatoid arthritis.”
At least here you get to just relax and be sick and not have to be anything else. You should see me when I’m admitted. Just total sick caricature.
The cafeteria has this atrium between the real seating area and the elevator, and often people will come out here to eat their food instead.
My dad’s office is at the end of a long hallway with glass ceilings and abstract pastel paintings.
He lets the fork go limp a little, relenting. “All right.”
Enzyme deficiency, causes a certain lipid to build up in the body.
Delegate. Don’t feel bad about hiring someone else to take care of a task you don’t have time for.
We have our end-of-the-semester research project starting today for our History class, and the two of us have been waffling on topics since it was announced.
We started hanging out with Ashley—who, incidentally, was Luke Schivo’s number-one girl, and they dated for two weeks and had a very emotional breakup on the playground after he kissed girl number two—in seventh grade, when the three of us chased a field hockey ball that rolled away during gym class, got poison ivy, and sat on the sidelines scratching ourselves and bonding for the next week.
Luna fluffs up her hair and says, “I’m gonna be just fine.”
“I know,” Siobhan says, and they give each other sappy smiles.
“It’s been there for years and people still like it. You’ve got crowd appeal, girl.”
“Good. Because take it from me. Boys are terrible. And not worth messing up your reputation as...you know.”
“As what?” I say.
“The even-keeled spinster.”
Gaucher disease is a genetic disease in which a deficiency of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (also called glucosylceramidase) leads to the overaccumulation of the sphingolipid glucocerebroside (also called glucosylceramide) and wow, okay, that’s the least I’ve ever understood a sentence in my lifetime.
It’s a massive street, and instead of a median there’s the elevated train tracks, and underneath them, little chairs and tables in case you want to eat a bagel in a very strange location.
I guess when I met him I felt some kind of camaraderie.
The main symptoms are severe anemia, bleeding problems, weak bones, and enlarged spleens and livers.
They count people and arrange seats and talk about snacks and double black diamonds and I chew balls of tapioca between my teeth and look out the window.
rhetorical question
“What are you supposed to do, not go skiing because one of us has arthritis?”
Honestly, it’s not a rhetorical question, though I know none of them has the answer, either.
I hang up and scroll down through the patient logs, and...there it is. A. Sverdlov-Deckler, room 742. What the hell is he doing on orthopedics?
I decide not to bother him—after all, he barely knows me, and he probably...doesn’t want unsolicited visitors—but about half an hour later, Sonia asks me to check the water refills.
“So I did that yesterday and I’m really anemic, so it just...” He gestures vaguely.
He has cerebral palsy.
“She’s not in the picture,” I say. “She’s a nonentity.”
“I’m presuming you can’t ski. Can you ski?”
And also—sorry, but you told me I didn’t have to shut up anymore, so I’m not—it’s, y’know, not true, and you have an illness, and it might not have caused your leg to fall off or your spine to break in half, but your hands are all swollen, and your leg is next to me here, and I can feel how hot your knee is, and that’s not some kind of euphemism.
Twenty-six wins, three losses, thanks to the spectacular coaching of Rodger Frederick Phelps, better known as Digger, nicknamed such by his father, who was a mortician.
Luna rambles on about Bob Fosse for a while, with hand gestures and a couple of tap dance moves and a little bit of vibrato, and Mattrapolis smiles in a way that’s probably supposed to look indulgent, but you can tell he’s actually entertained and just trying to act disconnected.
“Trying to do something with the way chronic pain affected her. How it made her...not suited for relationships.”
I don’t get a consensus on whether or not to text Sasha, so I don’t do it.
This is going to give them gossip fodder for weeks.
Now they can speculate about my pathetic non-love life.

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