by Shen Wasuno
A tale of dashing might [or lack of thereof] occurred to the narrator some years ago.
«If you can't be content with what you've received, be thankful for what you've escaped»
She was standing on the top of the staircase, wonderful in her beige evening gound.
Serene, as she was screening across the room, showing through a sense of royalty. In truth, she was stunning the room with her majestic presence, retiring and at the same time overbearing.
Empathic and simultaneously dangerous. Even more, she had a magnificent garment on her: a long, gaunt and elegant strap dress covering the feet, punctuated with a waistband and tiny ribbons of the same colour.
Also decorated with small gleaming spheres of (phony, perhaps?) diamonds; the frizzed skirt, complete with golden flower motifs.
The atmosphere, it only served to reflect her poise as a fantasy princess.
Smiling, the white of her teeth contrasted with the long hair, superbly curly and of the same colour of her eyes. Which, at the distance, he could say they were dark hazel, glowing like ametysts.
She then decided to descend the stairs, slowly and carefully, but almost as if floating on her crystal shoes. Eyes fixed on the stairs.
Then, she slightly raised her head...... whoosh.....Her eyes... rested upon the gawky boy.---
With this I was interrupted, of my reading of one of the columns of a newspaper bought by my dad earlier in the morning, by several "click" sounds coming from my rear. A quick glance confirmed my suspicions, and I reached for my transportation pass.
It was the ticket inspector coming from the bottom of the carriage and dissolving the absorbing effect of the story in me to a pause, half-way through the trip. It sure was hot inside the train, as the afternoon sun was scorching outside.
Nothing exactly too inordinate, as it was June's sixth day, a Wednesday.
The final exams of my second semester of engineering were about to begin, the classes in their last woes, and my precious calculator was in dire need of new batteries. That matter was, though, a small foot note in my current affairs.
I was in the middle of the year, June 6th and accompanied with my mom, my destination was the Hospital.
The reason for the ride was just the sudden nose bleeding which had upset the quizzical morning awakening.
The haemorrhage had eventually dissipated, but the thought of it not being totally subsided, and prone to bleed again any time was very much unsettling. After all, it wasn't the first time it had happened.
Preventively, my parents suggested (or better explained, coerced) that I should go to a Hospital, in order for a professional take a good look at it and, if necessary, perform a soothing treatment. By that, a few hours later there we were -- mom insisted in coming with me, very graciously, as she was on holidays at that time -- heading towards Alcântara, in the capital.
A quest for an otolaryngologist.
As mentioned earlier, this situation wasn't anything new to me. Ever since I was an infant, I used to have frequent epistaxis, the so-called clinical designation, in the Summer.
On one occasion, a consulting doctor had told that such was probably because I had polyps encrusted in my nose (which reminds me, I never did find out what these "polyps" thingamajigs really were), and that due to the dry weather of the Summer, bleeding could be prone to occur. It was disregarded as nothing particularly serious.
A few years later, though, a more serious condition presented itself. It was on January 29th of 1997: after two days of intense quivering, in that dawn, I also woke up bleeding profusely. It was only the beginning of something even more disheartening that would prevent me from eating properly for over six months.
In May of 1998, another relapse of nasal haemorrhage happened in an occasion where I was constipated; leading me to be treated, in an urgent measure, with a substance that pretty much burned the cut blood vessels.
It was in the very same Hospital where I was heading now. At the time I was taken there, alone, in a sort of topsy-turvy situation, and hilariously (or not) I hadn't brought my wallet with me, which meant that I didn't have money for a train ticket back home. Too bad, though, as I had never travelled to the capital city alone, I didn't even have knowledge of my precise location. What a predicament, that Tuesday was!
I also recall, this was when I was to recollect the victuals that were rightful property of our own refrigerator -- which had broke down some days earlier -- from one of my friend's own refrigerator.
He had agreed upon lending some of his electrical appliance's space to store our provisions for some days, in order for them not get rotten. Not bad for good will; though, it probably wouldn't be possible to happen today, has now moved away....
Moving to the present, named 2001, the train wasn't terribly filled with people.
A torn man without a leg makes his way along the carriage. He's handing over pamphlets to the passengers. A foreigner beggar asking for some change coins. After the train it was needed to catch the tramcar to get to the Alcântara area and the tram was positively full.
In the Hospital we were told that it was out of our jurisdiction zone, so we had to redirect to the Hospital located nearest to our residence, which also had an otolaryngology service.
And so we did.
And an hour later, we were at this other Hospital's Emergencies, waiting for the sorting personnel to evaluate possible implications of the seizure.
In minutes, I was called to the screening office and the lady there, a friendly, swarthy toned nurse inquired me:
— Quales son sus sintonmas ?
— Huh... hum..... — I grunted, not understanding her accented speech completely.
— De que se queja, usted ?
Then it became clear: I realized the difficulty was lying in my comprehension of her Spanish intonation. So I promptly described the event to the woman, who appeared to give it little importance:
— It's probably nothing of a big deal. Not withstanding, you'll be routed to one of the otolaryngology consultation rooms for further diagnosis.
— Thank you — and I returned to the waiting room, decorated with people walking around with broken arms, slouching in crutches or wheelchairs, lying in stretchers, suffering.
Some time passed, and I hear my name on the loudspeaker, indicating where I was to be directed. The tawny nurse gave me the directions leading me and I went on. In the hallway I saw an egregious, if not, but familiar face: from the depth of forgotten distresses, a person whom I had befriended, superficially, in a dreadful time.
Wrong time, wrong place. I remembered that uttered promise from that point, one I had never kept, obviously out of fear and anxiety. Her name was Alexandrina.
Approaching fast, her eyes portraying a busy mind. The work there was numbingly busying. But her eyes met mine and it was evident she had recognized me. Approaching further. Memories don't let us forget even if our movements say otherwise. It now felt like a restricted place. And the words just seemed receding. Coming closer. And I felt weaker and weaker. No reaction. There was only the thoughts of that dark age, when I used to take my sororal responsibility to elementary school....
In the room, there were not one but three people, two of them handling several apparatuses. The remaining one instructed me to sit on a sort of a barber's chair.
The three of the medics were quite young, all likely in their mid 20's. They asked me questions about my bleeding after which one of them, a sturdy man with glasses, began inspecting my nostrils using a gadget with a source of light, particularly the left one, from where the haemorrhage had started. After a while, he decided to confer with his colleagues:
- It seems like a nasty trauma. I don't think that the trichloroacetic acid is going to produce a successful cauterization. Perhaps it's best to use a tampon.
The other seemed to agree. The man proceeded to disinfect the wound and fully cover my left nostril with a rubber plug, complete small linen string which firmly stuck to the cavity. It sure was giving me a unpleasant impression.
- This is a thermoplastic tampon with an absolvent dressing. It'll adapt efficiently to your nostril in a fashion as to not give you harm. - he explained, also enclosing and taping it with gauze - you'll have to use it for three days and on the third day you'll come here for it to be removed.
With this I was dismissed, still sniggering with my appearance. Didn't last long, though, as it was thoroughly uncomfortable. It was keeping me from breathing properly, and was annoyingly itching my nose, making me want to sneeze. And the people making fun of me in the train. Little did I know that I was about to spend the next three days snivelling in agony -- sort of, as I couldn't get any sleep at night. It was almost as bad as having to eat liver. I really, really hate liver. Well, at least I didn't have to place/endure a sojourn in the Hospital for.... who knows how long !?!? I never quite recovered form the last time I had been hospitalized.
One should never underestimate the whims of the force majeure, and its awkward tests to one's... "faith".
I really thought about such that evening, during dinner time. The enticing coup de chance was the offset of taking an absence leave college for three full days. Oh well, rather keep cool, and a stiff upper lip. That night, a James Bond movie did get broadcast, which one was it....? That one, with the A-Ha theme song.....
WORD COUNT: 1638 words