Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Paradise Lost

   In a simpler time, teen-aged girls would volunteer to help out at hospitals and nursing homes. They wore red and white striped uniforms, hence the name "candystriper". Maybe they got paid, maybe it was sort of a pre-nursing thing to do. (If anyone can clue me in on what the exact arrangement was, I'd be thankful.) At any rate, I was heading home from an errand downtown one day, and boarded the #8 bus. On it was my older sister, a college student, who was coming home for the week-end. I nodded to her and went to sit in the back (when you were 15, you ALWAYS sat in the back - I don't know why) and then I saw her. A vivacious girl, about my age, brunette with tight (natural?) curls, inviting blue eyes and freckles. She made eye contact and indicated with a toss of her head that I should sit down NEXT to her. We evidently talked - I probably just said "ah - ah -ah" but she kept looking at me as she continued talking and began to bounce in her seat. This behavior was beyond my understanding. I noticed that her posture was very tense, and her back had a definite arch to it. She asked where I was getting off. She said she only lived a few blocks further...would I like to come along with her?

   At this point, about thirty million synapses in my pubescent brain were firing, smoldering and fusing in a huge, hormone-fueled meltdown. She was still bouncing. My stop came, my sister was exiting the rear door just in front of us, should I go? Should I stay? Go? Stay? Go? Stay? My sister opened the rear door...

   I went.

   Later, at supper, my sister said: "Who was that girl on the bus?"
"oh it was only a candystriper..."

By Professor Batty


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