SVHC: We took a little time off for vacation so let's see what Doug's been up to.
DOUG: Rosie and I headed north on Floral Avenue. As I think about becoming the new County Legislator for the people on this street, I begin to appreciate how well-kept each of the homes is. I never realized just how floral Floral Avenue is. Flowers everywhere in most of the front yards. All of the lawns neatly mowed. We make a right turn onto Madison Street. Soon we were at number 64.
I am a numbers guy, not really a numerologist, but I notice numbers. I get coffee at Bru64 on Main Street. I get my bike fixed at Action Sports - 64 Pendleton Street. When my little bag of trash gets full, I stop at K&B Plumbing - 64 Madison Street - and leave it with Mark Baranello. We share the same birthday, though he is a year older. He always accepts my trash deposit without complaint. In the next block I see a young woman on the porch. Rosie and I approach. She is smitten with my adorable pup right away. Her name is Jen. She was waiting there to hear about my tongue. After I finished the part about the leeches in my mouth she asked, "Can I see it?"
I hesitated just a second. Not because I was put off, but because I have trouble opening my mouth very wide since the surgery. And I can no longer stick out my tongue. "I'm a nurse," Jen explained, so I wouldn't think she was being intrusive or invasive. I did my best. We should have had a flashlight.
At this point Jen said, "Do you mind if I smoke?" Now there is a loaded question.
"The smoke does not bother me. I have no sense of smell."
I wanted to say that I do mind that she feels she must smoke, but I did not want to be unkind.
Then, unprompted, she told me that she was not smoking when she arrived where she is now staying. "Everyone here smokes, so it was just too much to try to be the only non-smoker. I gave in and began smoking. I plan to talk to my counselor about this." That made me sad, but I was cheered by her openness and her kindness and her honesty. With so much pretending in the world we need more people like my new friend Jen. As we talked I made the mistake of saying, "So you used to be a nurse?" As though her nursing days were over. She quickly corrected me, "I AM a nurse." Life is not over when you slip a bit and need to regroup.