“My other fear was that I’d be powerless to intervene, that I wouldn’t be able to do anything until we landed,” he said.The flight attendants had handed him a medical kit and helped him piece together what had happened: She had suffered a seizure.

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When he came home, he’d still have notes to dictate.

I’d frequently find him snoozing in an armchair with the light still on.

He belonged to an improv comedy group and kept me up talking in funny voices and telling me what he loved about medicine. He called it “a sneaky bug” because it can surface almost anywhere (in the brain, heart, groin), and he showed me his memorabilia: a plush, pink spiral doll in the shape of the bacterium and a tin lunchbox featuring a man in a gas mask and block lettering that read, “The Enemy Is Syphilis.”The weeks he was on call I barely saw that goofy side of him. For years, marriage had seemed as distant and inscrutable to me as the green-and-brown patchwork below.

His irregular schedule, which included frequent overnight shifts, left him with little energy for life outside the hospital. A flight attendant inquired about his medical license. It was, I had thought, the kind of tame choice that signals a loss of momentum and spontaneity.

The previous year had been the hardest stretch of his medical training.

As a third-year resident in internal medicine, he often worked 30-hour shifts.

There was an emergency on board, but the crew was professional and, for most, the event didn’t register. As we left the jetway, I asked what had happened.“She’ll be O. He had more to tell, but he was waiting until we were out of earshot of other passengers.

We passed through the curtains to where the seats were leather and leaned all the way back. That night, we sat on the battered futon my husband has owned since college.

I was almost 30, and the adventures of single life were losing their appeal.