Age is a work of art

By LOTTIE BOGGAN,

Dressed for a dinner at the Country Club, I found myself in a much shorter line than the buffet; instead of dining on a gourmet meal, I spent my evening visiting a Doc in a Box clinic. And no. I had not yet made it to cocktail hour.

I should remember, sometimes it’s not real smart to do two things at once. At least, not for some of us.

Janet Taylor Perry and I edit each other’s works. On a recent Thursday night, she had come to my house; I was going to do a quick glance at a chapter from one of her novels, and then we’d go to the buffet. Once we got to the club Janet would be doing a final edit on my next novel, ‘Return to Redemption Ridge.’

On this particular evening, I had already fed and closed Roo Roo in the laundry room for the evening and was putting puppy dog Petey Poo in the back bathroom.

Papers in one hand, I was reviewing a chapter from ‘Lucky Thirteen’ and closing the bathroom door with the other. Still not sure how it happened, I scraped my arm against the door.

Well, what peeled back was not a sight to behold. I will not get too descriptive, a gentle reader or two might very quickly be lost if I was to do so. Not only that, if I tried to describe in detail what I saw, I might even have to drop my head between my legs before I hyper-ventilated and passed out. (That’s another story.)

What appeared on my arm was about the size of the big ‘erms’ my father used to bait on his hook when he went fishing.

Now, that’s enough said.

Janet and I ended up in an emergency clinic, where yours truly was very well taken care of.

Thirteen stitches and the ‘ermy’ wound was closed.

Good to leave, I was covered for everything, but a tetanus shot; the clinic where I’d been patched up happened to be out. ‘You can take care of that tomorrow.’ The receptionist gave me the address of one of their nearby facilities.’ Here you go.’

(Janet and I missed the buffet)

The next morning I went to the other clinic. The receptionist opened a glass window and pushed a signup sheet toward me.

‘Print your name and date of birth and we’ll call you.’

‘I will.’ I reached into my purse, and then dug in my pocket. ‘As soon as I find my glasses.’

‘They’re on your head.’ She snapped the window shut.

It took a while, but my name was finally called, and I was escorted to a room.

The doctor raised a syringe. ‘Roll your sleeve up,’ he said.

I cocked my head, like one of my dogs waiting for its food bowl.

‘I need this shot. I’m so glad you all had some tranxene.’

The man’s mouth dropped open.

‘What’d you say?’

‘I came back for my shot. Like they told me to last night.’

I could see by the confused look on the young man’s face that we were on different pages.

He studied me carefully. ‘Tranxene?’ He lowered his arm, rubbed his chin and appeared to be in deep thought, then he seemed to make his mind up about something. A slow smile spread across his face.

‘You’re asking for a shot of tranxene? Well, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a month of Sundays. ‘

I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, or where this was going. 

Then the truth of the matter hit! My heart dropped to my toes. Keep breathing, I thought. Good glory! What had I asked for? A sedative!

I almost said, ‘You heard me wrong.’ But I didn’t. ‘Don’t arrest me,’ I stammered, throwing myself on the doctor’s mercy. ‘Tetanus. I’m here for a tetanus shot.’

The man’s eyes danced; his lips spread into an amused smile.

‘You’re not in trouble. Yet,’ he laughed. He swabbed my arm, gently popped the needle in, then spread a band-aid. ‘You remind me of my great aunt, Myrtle Mae.’ He leaned down. ‘But you might need to be more careful of what you ask for.’

My face burned but I tried to remain calm and composed. ‘At my age, I don’t care what anybody thinks.’ 

Then, another moment of truth. That’s a lie. I do care. 

I like to feel kinda good about myself. Lots of times though, I don’t. And, it’s usually self-imposed when it happens. What I don’t understand is how come I seem to wind up in some of the predicaments I find myself in.

I mostly try to do the right thing. Go to church on Sunday. Try to be kind and not hurt anybody’s feelings. Look after my dogs. Try not to make my children, the grands and the greats, feel too guilty when they do things I think they shouldn’t, and I have to tell them about it.

‘Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.’

I wish I’d acted more artistic.

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.