Sunday, February 23, 2014

Like a Heartbeat

Staring at the institutional blue walls in the emergency room, I wondered why they're so drab and lifeless.  Suddenly the room was full of people wearing colorful tops and warm concerned faces. They seemed practiced at not looking alarmed, but their actions weren’t casual, especially their eyes that wandered with regularity to the monitor above my exposed left shoulder. The voice of a nurse comforted me as she asked questions,  "It’s going to be okay Gia, do you have any drugs on board, cocaine, marijuana?" "No, " I answered.  "How about alcohol?"   I replied, "yah, vodka and wine," as the nurse standing to my right drew blood from my arm.  Fortunately my roommate was home last Sunday night, and while she was in bed fighting a horrible cold, she still drove me to the hospital.   

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Thing with Feathers

After an exhausting, yet exhilarating two weeks of traveling and attending conferences, I was headed home.  My Southwest 737-700 series Boeing airplane landed in Portland Maine just before midnight, but not before circling out over the dark and deep North Atlantic on a cold, but not frigid winter’s night. Now that I’m working in Portland, the 32 mile drive has become routine, and I tend to drive quickly down the turnpike, often sharing the highway with a handful late night drivers and the occasional truck hauling wood products to a their awaiting warm southern destination.  Flipping between John Tesh’s radio show, Intelligence for Your Life, and First Wave satellite radio, I realize I was tired, and raced home.

Exit 32 arrives and I step on the gas of my white 4-cylinder Elantra, trying to catch the fleeting green light and pass through the intersection to the route 1 connector and the back roads to my house. I don’t see another car the rest of my drive.  With a half mile to go, I turn right onto my tree lined road, and pass the darken
Into the Darkness      Maine
homes that are scattered acres apart, separated by woods and small fields.  No picket fences here. After leaving the highway, I drive a little more causally, aware that critters, like deer and the occasion moose, may suddenly appear in the road in front of me.  Before reaching the driveway, my salt covered headlights catch the slinky crawl of a small animal crossing the road.   It’s safely in the other lane and just about to disappear into the forest, but I notice a brilliant flash of white. I smiled to myself, knowing that the skunk and I avoided a life altering collision.