In his dream Mr. Perlmutter is lying in bed next to his wife, Ramona, who
has come back or never really went away, or however it works in these dreams.
They are watching television, as they liked to do after his retirement, in the
small hours of the morning. Mrs. Perlmutter has the remote, which is how you know
this is a dream.
Every time Ramona changes the channel they seem to land in the middle of another
medical show -- not just the networks' cut-and-splatter dramas, but
the sort of thing they run on the educational stations, going through entire operations from
incision to suture. And though these shows usually feature routine surgeries (hysterectomies,
vasectomies, knee replacements), this time they all involve some sort of trauma. Here Dr.
Mehmet reattaches the left foot, severed accidentally as the victim was freed from the wreckage.
"You should have bought a green one," Mrs. Perlmutter tells her husband. This
is when he wakes up, crying and talking to God.