He smells of comfort, hair products, and exhaustion, solid and shadow eyed. He is wounded, oddly fragile, a count-down of days until surgery, less than the fingers on one hand. Five, now four. We are a chord, complementary notes, time shifted. My inability to climb stairs, now his. The need for a cane, the inability to concentrate through pain. Later this week doctors will strap him to a table, do something complicated with hot injections of plastic, drills and thick needles, fill the cracks in his knee with medical foam, a supportive core of artificial cartilage to carry his bones. A handful of pills every day after, as if he were dying. Expect: chemical powders, fuzzy headed answers, and sleep, almost a sickness. I am aware, concerned, but trying not to worry. When he looks at me, his pupils still dilate.