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soft hands.

i love my job

2.02.2005
whenever a new patient comes into our facility, i have to do an assessment on their background - occupations, hobbies, habits, quirks, needs, interests, et cetera. half the time it's a pleasant, mutually enriching experience. the other half? especially with the population i work with (and before someone out there misreads this and brands me a brute, i will say unequivocally that there is no other group of people in this world i cherish being around more), it's an arduous pain in the ass. then there are those rare interviews that flow so easily it's like rediscovering a long lost friend, or meeting a simpatico someone you wish you could have been young and stupid with. no, really, and today was one of those days.

i'll call her mary, since saying mary in a nursing home is like calling "mom!" in a pre-school parking lot. mary's wheelchair bound, no more than 5 feet tall, maaaaybe 90 pounds. long, long silvery hair pinned up in haphazard loops and twists, brown eyes bright behind prescription glasses that remind me of the kind all the cool girls are wearing. her face is warm and inquisitive and it's obvious that in her heyday she was a stunner. still is, though she'll tell you those days are gone. she loves to talk - in fact, she's a master storyteller. you can nearly feel the exclamation points whizzing around your head.

so she's scheherazade-ing it up (husband number three, india, dumbwaiters, venice, brooklyn, her sister, sailplanes, husband number two, golf, china, sheep shearing) matchstick-thin arms waving around, and i notice a heavy gold charm bracelet flying through the air with them. i ask to see it, and she pauses her wild gesticulation long enough for me to take a closer peek. there's a tiny basketball, and a charm with a golf tournament inscription, and i comment that she must like sports (yeah yeah, i'm getting to the baseball part). her face lights up and she says "YES! do you?" i smile sort of shyly and the rest goes a little something like this

me: i love baseball...
mary [whacks the armrest of her chair for emphasis]: SO DO I! you know, i was engaged to a red sock!
me [nearly falls off the bed she's perched on]: what?! really? who?!
mary [laughing like a schoolgirl]: don kellett. i met him at the university of pennsylvania, he played on the team there. he wouldn't start a game without me. he'd watch me make my way through the stands, wait til i found my seat, and blow me a little kiss. everyone would look up at me and GLARE.
me: i bet all the girls hated you.
mary [cackles impishly]: and HOW.
me: so why didn't you marry him?
mary: well... we had a lot of fun. but...
me: ...he wasn't the marrying kind?
mary: he wasn't. listen, i was very young and innocent, maybe seventeen. once i went to go see him play in new york, and can you BELIEVE i was naive enough to go with him when he asked me back to his hotel room!? all he cared about was the nookie!
me [suppressing giggles]: that's a ballplayer for you. i don't think they've changed very much.
mary: HA! i BET they haven't!
5:58 PM :: ::
3 Comments:
  • That's so cool, lupe! She sounds like an absolute sweetheart. "All he cared about was the nookie." LAWL, some things don't change!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 12:23 AM   <$BlogItemControl$>
  • HOW CUTE!

    But, wait,I'm confuzzled... she did get engaged to him after the hotel room thing?

    By Blogger Lor, at 11:43 PM   <$BlogItemControl$>
  • she'd been engaged to him before, lor. it was post-hotel-room that she broke it off. after all, it was the 30's, she was very young, and she had a strict upbringing: she was probably shocked and appalled by him wanting a piece of ass.

    By Blogger lupe_velez, at 12:28 AM   <$BlogItemControl$>
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