Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Musings, 30 May 2015

Good morning,

Outside the window of my breakfast nook, the roses have finished their spring bloom.  A dream lingers in my groggy brain; a long-forgotten face floated upward in my sleeping subconscious.  I have to close my eyes to reclaim it.  I have forgotten his name but I know well the circumstances of his departure from my life.  He turned his back on me because he thought I had betrayed him by unwittingly befriending someone whom he despised.   I sip coffee and wonder how this old hurt arose from its murky muddy dungeon.

Yesterday I went to KU for my third session with a neurological physical therapist.  I got the times confused and arrived a half  hour early.  The lady at the desk, who speaks in sharp tones to everyone, grudgingly conceded that I had an 8:30 appointment and that I could find coffee in the cafeteria.  I thanked her over-warmly but she had already turned back to the computer screen and did not hear.  I felt glad for her ignorance. I heard the tinges of sarcasm in my voice even if she did not.

I found the coffee and a fresh fruit bar.  I fell upon the unexpected boon like a ravenous vegetarian hyena.   I stood before the cashier holding an overflowing Styrofoam bowl filled with blueberries, grapes and cantaloupe.  She laughed and added a penny from her bowl to my tendered cash.  Then I moved towards a table, clutching the bowl in one hand and a large coffee in the other.

The clock crawled towards 8:20.  I calculated that the walk back to the Spine Center could take as much as ten minutes, and set out, still holding the coffee, in plenty of time.  But at the cafeteria's exit the shaky cup spewed coffee and I stopped, disconcerted.

Two women wearing scrubs and name tags skirted around me; one looked back.

I don't know what she saw on my face but she took a step to reverse her progress and looked again.  She drew her gaze to the cup, to the floor, just as I took a tottering step away from the spilled coffee and gauged the odds of getting something to clean it without further spillage.  Let me help, the woman called back to me.  Do you need a napkin?  My voice failed me.  She entered the cafeteria and exited with a handful of paper toweling.

I could only murmur something low and guttural that could have been thanks.  My vocal cords had stiffened.

In the doorway to the Spine Center I stopped to steady myself.  I took a slug of cooling coffee and continued onward.  As I passed the counter, a different Admissions lady stepped out from behind the barricade and called a man's name.  Across the room, a stocky gentleman, three-pronged cane in one hand, a sheaf of X-Rays in their telltale sleeves in the other, started forward.

He had not taken three steps when the X-Rays spewed from his grip and fluttered to the ground.  I paused and glanced over at the Admissions lady.  She grunted and leaned against the counter, rolling her eyes.  He might need help, I said.  She drew her eyebrows together, turned on her heel, and went back to her desk.

At that moment, another patient rose and gathered the man's X-Rays.  She neatened the stack, and guided the man's empty hand to the bundle, pressing his fingers closed.  She held the handle of his cane and helped him steady his stocky frame.  Then he proceeded forward, more slowly, less certain.  The woman and I stood watching until he reached the chair into which he lowered himself, in front of the clerk who had summoned him.

That was nice of you, I said to the woman.  She shrugged and smiled.  I continued my journey to the chair closest to the door from which I knew my therapist would beckon me.

Now the morning continues to unfold but I give myself to the lingering dream.  My accuser's face rises,  still cast in shadows.   I recall though the outlines of his body --  the set of his shoulders, the sturdiness of his wrestler's legs.  I think again of the man at KU, holding those X-Rays, leaning on that cane.  Something familiar.  A movement; a body type; a gesture.  I pour myself a cup of coffee.  I gaze out of my window at the rose trellis and its fading blooms, brown now, dripping with the gentle cleansing rain.  I drink my coffee and sit, letting the day ease itself around me.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Missouri Mugwump™

My photo
I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.