Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gutter ball, a strike-out, and over par

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

It's beginning to become the case that each time I find myself clocked in at Big City Hospital the whole day is filled with oddities.

Today, I spent a great deal of time assisting one of the nurses on my floor. Leading into this encounter, I was told that she's not the friendliest of folks and has a tendency to adhere strictly to the rules. The latter didn't seem particularly alarming...I'd imagine that's generally a good quality to have in a patient-care setting.

She was, first of all, in possession of the loveliest pair of eyes I've seen in quite some time. Crystal clear blue, enhanced by some black eyeliner, very lightly applied. Oh my. My facial muscles were beyond my control at this moment and along came a wide grin. She reciprocated and it was off to a good start.

I began to notice that she was approximately my age. Good sense of humour. Well-spoken. Highly intelligent and especially considerate and compassionate with each patient we handled. Oh my.

She asked what led me to my job. I explained about my status in university and where I hope to be heading. Many words of encouragement were expressed and she mentioned returning to university for a Master's degree in the fall. Oh, fantastic, la la la. An emergency arose in which I could not participate. I watched the whole team rush into action and work like fine Swiss machinery to stabilise the patient. Throughout the ordeal, as far as I could see, she maintained a face, a very attractive face, bearing concern but confidence. Few things are more attractive. Oh my.

I began to notice my increasing interest in her and wondered if I should even bother. This is something I ponder each and every time. I'm not a terribly attractive man, I don't think, but my appearance is more pleasing than it once was...particularly in my teens and early 20s. Having spent the majority of my life knowing, without question, that I was not much to look at, it's difficult to think otherwise. I'd like to have more confidence in that area, but I don't know that I can build that up without the positive input of others.

When the crisis was over, we resumed our duties and talked at length about all sorts of things. She brought up university again, expressing fear of sitting in a classroom with a bunch of 20 year-olds. Heh, I know all about how that is, and shared my experience. My heart was pounding as I spoke to her, our eyes locked on each other's... aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Oh my.

Then, it happened.

The thing that always seems to happen, in one way or another.

She said it like this.

"Thanks for trying to make me feel a bit better about it, but when you have a son who is only a few years away from being 20, you can't help but be a bit weirded out."

A son who is nearly 20.

She must've had that child when she was 10. No. Not likely. She must be older than I thought...which isn't of much concern to me. In fact, I prefer older women. But children, especially in their teens.

As my interest deflated, she mentioned her husband once or twice. Ah, just as well. So it goes.

When running an errand on another floor, I met a volunteer who was about as friendly as he could be. He had quite a bit of an overbite, proptosis, and an accent so thick that even I had a hard time understanding him at times, and I pride myself on having a great ear for accents. He was in his 40s and is attending school to obtain some kind of certificate...diagnostic sonography, maybe. Can't recall. While I waited for the secretary to finish gathering the materials I'd been enlisted to procure, the man and I had a lovely conversation. There was a deep sense of warmth and kindness within him, but also some inkling of loneliness. I wondered if he had many friends or any romantic relationships. I wondered how many times people may have taken a glance at him and figured him a simpleton and treated him as such. I wondered how many people stop to listen to him, stop to speak with him, stop to share with him. When I had to leave, I told him I was glad to meet him and that I hoped to run into him again. I meant it.

Big Tall Beautiful Nurse was there today. I smiled at her as she passed by...didn't even so much as glance at me. Well, whatever.

On the way home, I began digesting the day's events. I also began to get excited about packing up and heading home for a bit in between terms. In this strange transition state, I saw a Big City oddity that made me laugh and forget everything, except for trying to imagine what had transpired before I witnessed this. At a stop light, a man on a bicycle came whizzing across the zebra stripes. Ordinary enough, sure... the man was wearing nice dress shoes, slick-looking slacks... and no shirt. None. Bare-chested. He had a wild tangle of greying hair upon his head and what appeared to be a grey sweatshirt tied around his waist. Okay, so business from the waist down, crack party from the waist up. Where did his shirt go? Did he ever have one to begin with? What's the story with the slacks and dress shoes with the grey sweatshirt? Too many questions. Funny scene, but you'd probably have had to have seen it to really appreciate the humour. Hmm.

I shot my all-time best score in a round of golf earlier this week. I was still 40+ over par, but was significantly lower than any previous attempts. I lost a total of 9 balls, but I found 2...mostly lost them to water. Tough course, but boyyy, I was eating the challenge up! Absolutely loved it. I spent exactly zero seconds thinking of anything but the game. On a par 4, there was a sizable lake separating the fairway from the green. I was a bit nervous and changed clubs three times before settling for my pitching wedge. I took a deep breath, a few practice swings, and told myself that I was going to land safely on the green. I aimed not at the pin but right in the middle of the green. Swung, it was a great strike, ball was on a perfect line, great height...and plop! right in the center of the green, didn't roll more than half a foot. All that practice at the driving range is playing off. It felt good to start being able to have confidence in my club selection and knowing their distances. I still hit far more bad shots throughout the day than good, but the good shots were good.

That's all the news from the homestead presently.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

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