The radiant gesture.

30 Jun

When she walked into the office I knew she was a pistol. I was there to have a CT scan of my jaw because it’s been aching. A CT scan with contrast is an annoying affair as they pump you full of iodine and it burns. So I was happy to have her as a diversion.

I knew she was old. She was bent over at the waist with crispy bones and her hands were spotted with time. But she was in full hair and make-up and I give her points for dressing for the radiologist when all of us are specifically told to wear gym clothes.

She sat down next to me and puzzled over her paperwork.

“Could you do this for me? I can’t see a goddam thing.”

I laughed and said, “Certainly.”

Her name was Lillian and she was born in 1923. On December 25th, she reported, then added, “The other Jew born on Christmas.”

I was thrilled I got to go through her entire medical history.

“Do you smoke, Lillian?”

“Of course not.”

“Did you ever smoke?”

“Of course. Until they raised the price to fifty cents a pack in 1947.”

Her body must be a road map of scars, the list of surgeries continued on to the back of the page. Just as we finished, I was called in and got up to follow the technician. Lillian stopped me.

“You’re cute. You wanna grab my breast? I’ll be giving it away for free in there.”


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