After taking a week's vacation (unpaid) from the keyboard I'm back and not surprising, I seem to have something to spew...
I took my aunt the other day to have cataract surgery on her left eye. During the hour wait, I found myself in the waiting room, with shall we say, a piece of shit guy, his 83 year "young" mom, and a blonde woman who smelled like Charlie cologne and who was so friendly I felt like I was being lathered in maple syrup. But it was the dude that got my attention; caused me to notice things like his jello belly that pooched out of his turquoise tee-shirt (which had a logo of a large bass on a fishing hook) and folded over onto his 4 inch belt buckle...His eyes were glued in the pages of Jimmy Buffet's "A Salty Piece of Land" as if it was a life-changing experience; as if a mediocre singer is now Jesus. I notice he never looks up when his mother speaks to him. I notice when she asks if he'd like her to treat him to a cup of coffee while they wait, that his "No" sounds like a grunt. She continues to unobtrusively fill the room with patience and kindess. He continues to ignore her and I notice his body language. The waiting area smells like air-conditioning and Dial soap and the wait is long and silent like a storm that hasn't hit.
The bastard of a son leaves the room to take a call and his mother looks up at me and for some unknown reason says, "He's so different than his father." Having observed her husband before he went in for his procedure, I smiled and commented, "Yes. Your husband's vitality and smile filled the room." This made her embarrassment start to disipate I do beleive. For the next 5 minutes or so we talked about things we enjoy; her husband still skiis at 84 years old, she loves the slots and gardening...I, reading, travel and a good cup of coffee. At that, she smiles as if wishing she could treat me to a cup instead. When he returns, our conversation ends. She returns to her magazine and I to my book but I'm no longer really reading. I am thinking about older folks in our society; the ones we have loved and the ones we simply meet in a waiting room...At what age do we deem them uninteresting? When do we as a society see them as no longer having anything valuable to offer us? And when do cell phones, cheap novels, and strangers become more of a precedent than our moms or aunts?
The nurse opens the metal door and calls my name. My aunt is ready and I'll need to pull the car up. I stand and make eye-contact with the stranger and we exchange smiles that say more than words. When I see my aunt, I have this burst of wanting to pick her up in my arms and twirl her around like the wind right there in the damn hallway. When we are both settled in, before I put the car in gear, I tell her that I love her. I notice how much I mean it.
Last night, while sitting together in her kitchen as we always do, she says to me, "There's something I've always wanted to try." I notice a devilish school-girl grin on her beautiful face... "a mojito."
Well guess what my faithful followers? It's Mojito Saturday!