Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't smile, your face will crack.

“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.


Christine said...

Again, I can completely relate to your postings. Thanks so much for continuing to write while Conor is in the hospital.

Alisa Rock said...

Thanks, Christine, I'll try. The hospitalization was unforeseen and really threw us for a loop! We're in town and so we see him every day, which gives me lots to keep writing about!