Previously on Bone Tired: Kayoosh, nearly finished with her second medical residency in orthopedic surgery, her first in Ob/Gyn at Al Batool which “didn’t count” when she arrived in Boston from Mosul, eats a sandwich on ciabatta bread and spills Cholula hot sauce on her scrub bottoms, which later leads Mahmod, her brother, to accuse her of not liking the food he makes for her.
[This loops back to Season 2 of Bone Tired, Episode 3, wherein Mahmod meets Kayleigh at the local Whole Foods. She’s a baker and invites/lures him to The Rise, her rented pop-up space in a new outdoor mall where piped 80s music swirls in the air, mixing with the scent of cinnamon buns and stay-at-home-privilege/loathing/guilt.
Viewers will recall the steamy scene of dough kneading, Kayleigh totally re-enacting/taking advantage of the fact that Mahmod lived in Mosul and was denied the pleasure of watching Patrick Swayze fondle clay on the potter’s wheel in the movie Ghost. What Kayleigh had not anticipated in her sexual choreography was the finicky pop-up space’s dough-proofing drawer that—what with all the sex—came unhinged, trapped her foot and crushed her cuneiform and navicular, requiring a trip to see Kayoosh, as you might guess, but still your chest slams with the music swelling and Mahmod’s guilt which is complex: layered as puff pastry made from a detailed process of cold butter swaddled in chilled dough, rested, rolled out, wrapped again, envelope folds creating a stunning, buttery, just-crisp layered tower that Mahmod found enticing to make but carried with it a peculiar sadness—this thing would just be eaten after all.]
This week on Bone Tired: In the midst of their row over Mahmod’s intensity regarding Kayoosh’s newfound love for hot sauce, Kayoosh receives a mysterious text. She worries it is something to do with the recent sweeps for green cards, legal status questioning, the terror invading even the hospital’s sterile surgical theatres. But it’s Linda, the friendly robot reminding Kayoosh that there’s an urgent situation with her (non-existent) credit card debt.
The siblings, hunkered down now, and sharing the small on-call room space, wish the camera would cut away for a bit, wish they could recall—with accuracy and tenderness—the bamieh, lamb, okra, and tomato stew from their youth. Sure, it would be impractical to carry but—Mahmod brightens—not entirely problematic to make in quantity and serve. And Kayoosh adds, they could use cute takeout boxes. And there’s the issue of Kayleigh, pregnant now and with a busted foot still, but she could learn to make khubz, the Iraqi flatbread Mahmod thinks about in an almost romantic way.
So we have a plan, Kayoosh says. She has one more rotation—off-site, in Baltimore at the shock trauma center. When you come back, Mahmod says, everything will be sorted out. He puts his wide hand on her stained, scrub-covered knee. The camera zooms in on the remnants of another ciabatta roll which—because of the angle and because of Kayoosh and Mahmod twining together in the grimy overhead light—looks like a seashell. Or a severed hand. Just something worth saving.
Emily Franklin’s work has been published in The New York Times, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, New Ohio Review, Shenandoah, Blackbird, Tar River, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, Passages North, The Journal, and Cimarron Review, among other places, as well as featured on National Public Radio, long-listed for the London Sunday Times Short Story Award and named notable by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Her debut poetry, Tell Me How You Got Here, was just published by Terrapin Books. Follow Emily on Twitter at @efranklinauthor.