Brooke’s back at South Davis after a sometimes fraught experience at the main hospital recovering from pneumonia and sepsis. The good news is that indeed, he is recovering, and while he’s back on the ventilator (in addition to the pacer) temporarily and for that matter is still being tube fed, he’s recovering. The bad news concerns the various bumps in the road along the way, including a dizzying crash due to dehydration and the cumulative effects of too many pain drugs. Suddenly, it seemed, Brooke wasn’t there at all, cognitively speaking: completely confused, intellectually vacant, with a fixed stare and tiny pupils, muttering incoherently. It was terrifying to those around, to think perhaps that even after he’s lost the use of his body, he’d lose his mind too. But gradually, gradually, he has begun to return to lucidity, one small increment at a time, first being able to repeat words he was hearing, then being able to put a few words together himself, though often interspersed with mumbling and babbling, then sentences. Then he asked people to read to him. And then he asked to listen to Walden. And now come actual ideas and real interaction with other people. And now, this evening, as he’s back in the same bed in the same room at South Davis, being cared for one among his many favorite nurses, things are fitting together. He still has some work to do—getting back off the vent, passing the swallow test so that he can resume oral intake, strengthening his voice, getting back to physical therapy, and much more—but, at least, he’s back to it. He’s worrying about his course, as usual. And now he’s even thinking about his plans to teach The Winter’s Tale in the next OSHER semester, starting in January—even before he’s finished the makeup sessions for his current course on Walden that he missed during this rather mountainous bump in the road.