Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photo Prompt 20: The First Snowfall

Thanks to  Delores @thefeatherednest

Two close friends were walking through the park when one of them was overcome by hot flashes.  After taking a few swigs from the water bottle Ashley still didn't seem to cool off, so Morgan tried to come up with another plan.

Morgan thought it would be a good idea to try hypnosis. They found a nice quiet bench in the shade. Though it was a warm summer day, Morgan told Ashley to imagine a blustery winter scene. Ashley laughed until the calm steady voice made it impossible to stay awake.

Images of snow gently falling on the path were going through Ashley's mind. They were running and playing in the snow like children, until fresh footsteps were discovered on a nearby path. This didn't make sense as they had the whole park to themselves. Morgan noticed that Ashley was clinging on tightly while continuing to doze.

Suddenly, the path was transformed into a ski slope, and Ashley was heading straight down at a maddening pace. It didn't help that this was Ashley's first time on skis; scantily clad in running shorts and a tank top. Morgan yelled to stop, as a large bear with small feet was waiting at the end of the trail.

After much prodding and shaking, Ashley finally woke up. Morgan felt the claw marks as he gently unlatched Ashley from his arm. Though it was warm and humid, Ashley had an overwhelming desire for a hot chocolate. Morgan was feeling quite proud of himself when he spotted Avery and Mel.

Avery was Ashley's twin sister who was out walking her dog Mel. The couple told Avery about how the power of hypnosis helped Ashley fight off hot flashes. Avery said that she never should have told Ashley about her hot flashes in the first place. She went on to say that ever since they were kids, when one of them would even so much as sneeze, the other would be sick for days. 

Since Avery knew that her twin felt everything that she did so deeply, she was very careful about sharing news of even the slightest discomfort. Though she had to laugh when she mistakenly thought that it was safe to complain about her hot flashes. After all, Ashley was her twin brother.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Musical Chairs At The Doctor's Office


Last week I decided to go to the doctor when I had trouble sleeping from flu-like symptoms. My doctor was booked solid, so the receptionist got me in to see another partner in the group. There were four partners in total, and the large waiting room was beginning to fill up when I arrived.

I checked in, grabbed a magazine, and found an aisle seat facing the exit door. Shortly after, a woman with a friendly disposition sat in the middle seat next to me. There was an open seat at the end of the row, but for some reason she decided she liked this one better. I was honored that she chose to sit next to me when there were clearly a few other options available, but I played it cool pretending to peruse my generic magazine from 2007.

Suddenly, I was transported back to my first day in high school; circling around the cafeteria, not knowing which table to plant my lunch tray on. Those moments were more stressful than all of my classes put together. Some days were easier just sneaking a bag of M&M's in between the pages of a fashion magazine in the library. Those healthy eating habits probably led to my frequent doctor visits.

The waiting room was still filling up, when I felt a cough coming on.  I coughed on my left shoulder, away from my seat companion in the direction of the front desk. The desk served as a shield, so the receptionists were also protected. When my cough continued to get worse, I went over to the drinking fountain in the hallway. My seat companion was still there upon my return.

The room started emptying out, and my coughing ritual started all over again. Only this time, I decided to take action by moving across the room to spare my neighbor. In between coughs I sputtered, " I don't want to get you sick," and she flashed me an empathetic smile.

The whole time I was wondering why they didn't try to put me in quarantine earlier.  I was clearly creating a disturbance, and for all they knew I could've had whopping cough or TB. This led me to come up with a new health care plan for large practices.

The waiting rooms should be divided up according to the severity of the illness. For example, I would've been seated in the Coughing, Sneezing, and Fever Section. While my seemingly healthy neighbor would've been directed to the Good Citizen Yearly Exam Lounge. Other sections may include: Tummy Trouble (near an open window of course), Trashy Rashes and What-Nots, and the always popular I Feel Fine But My Wife Made Me Come Anyway Section.

Each section would be roped off.  Although partitions may prove to be more practical. Especially  in the case where a patient is left dangling too long on the rope in between the Everything Hurts Just Shoot Me Corner, and the Hypochondriac Hutch. This may lead to a future visit to Trashy Rashes and What-Nots.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

IWSG : Staying On Your Toes


As the first anniversary of   Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group is approaching, I can't help but notice how our personal inadequacies fuel our writing. From a very young age we are taught to choose our words carefully. Emotions come into play, and often heated moments exploit our insecurities. As writers we can use these moments to either enrich our characters, or to help strengthen our own.

Recently, I ran into a man who designed our acrylic mailbox. He miraculously put all of the pieces back together for us when a vandal knocked it over. Then he did it all over again when a newly licensed family member accidentally backed into it at the end of our driveway.  He smiled when I told him that Humpty Dumpty's men wished they had him on their team. I hadn't seen him in awhile, and he told me that not only had I lost weight, but that I looked ten years younger. Of course it helped that we were at an outdoor evening event, where lighting was scarce, and alcohol was plentiful. Though I knew he was exaggerating, the compliment was greatly appreciated as I was very self conscious about the newly acquired scar on my nose from extensive sun damage.

When I relayed the story to my mother she said, "Oh that's happened to me before. People used to get me confused with this very heavy woman that I worked with. He probably thought you were someone else."

The next day I got together with an old friend from high school whom I hadn't seen in a few years. She looked exquisite as always, and I told her that she really never ages. She thanked me, and looked like she was hard pressed to say something positive about me. Then a few hours later she turned to me and said in complete seriousness, "Julie, you have really nice toes."

Hence, I decided to take a step in the right direction by scheduling a pedicure, and investing in a therapeutic foot cream. Because I already wear orthotics, it's only a matter of time before I inherit my maternal familial bunions, and  hammertoes, so I have to take full advantage of this gift. Naot and Birkenstock are the only sandals that I could comfortably walk in, thus it's unlikely that I'll start  parading around in sexy stilettos to show off my toe cleavage. As winter approaches, my greatest challenge will be in securing a pair of open toed snow boots.