“Hi, I’d like to get my parking ticket validated, please,” I asked as I handed my card over to the security guard at the hospital’s front desk. I was on my way out after visiting Conor.
I’d seen this guy before. He looked like he was in his mid-thirties, a little overweight, an open face and—you can tell by how he calls out to all the women who work there—thinks he’s a ladies man.
“Don’t worry, everything will be all right,” he cheerfully says to me as he hands the card back. “You have such a sad expression, I mean.”
I politely gave him a small, perfunctory smile and headed out in to the humid Baltimore air.
How the fuck does he know everything’s going to be all right, I yelled to myself, in my head. For Christ’s sake, he works the front desk of a freakin’ hospital, he should know better.
Don’t make me those types of trite promises, I want to tell him, because if it doesn’t come true, I’ll be even more devastated than I already am. I’ve learned, over the years, to manage my expectations. It’s better for everyone that way.
Luckily, I got half way down the block before I started feeling the tears running down my face. I let myself cry until I reached my car in the parking garage and then choked them back.
That’s enough of that, I tell myself.