It’s Saturday afternoon, and G. is napping on the couch while the same two CDs play soft salsa over and over. She’s got her teddy-bear blanket pulled up around her face, her bare feet sticking out; they don’t get cold, though, because she’s got no sensation in them. It astonishes me how soundly she sleeps. I can stand right next to her, looking down at her with so much love that I’m sure its headlamp beam will wake her, but — nothing.

I wanted our lovemaking to remain sacred, untouchable. I wanted G.’s illness never to intrude in that one place. Of course, I didn’t get my wish.