Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Avery Goes to Therapy. Again.

Following a thirty minute one-man pep rally, I finally forced myself to get out of bed for the first time in two days. My body ached. It was no wonder I didn’t have bedsores. After a long sigh, I made my way toward the window and opened the curtains. With a grimace, I squinted as light poured into the room. Who knew that two days of complete darkness could turn someone into a vampire?

The cats—I assume encouraged by the presence of sunlight—came running into the bedroom. Their familiar, desperate meows indicated that it was feeding time. After filling their bowls, I turned on my cell phone. There were 12 new voicemail messages and 20 texts. Most were of the expected variety.

“We haven’t heard from you, Avery. Is everything okay? Your Dad and I are very worried.”

“Avery, I’m sorry about what happened. I wish things were better for you. By the way, would you mind taking my shift at the hospital tonight?”

“Avery, it’s Jasper. Are you dead? If so I need to know, because you still have that “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack you stole from me in 1998. I want it back after probate.”

I quickly dressed and made my way down to the street. The sun felt good on my skin. It was one of those perfect spring mornings when the weather is nice and warm, but the cool lake breeze prevents you from overheating.

I slowly made my way toward the Gold Coast, stopping only at Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee. As I walked up Michigan Avenue, I noticed an abundance of tourists. They were out in full force. They all looked so happy, sauntering down the street with their “Chicago” tee-shirts and “White Sox” baseball caps.

A particularly large woman sat in Water Tower Park snacking on a large bag of Garrett’s Popcorn. She looked so content. Was she here visiting relatives? No. Maybe she was in town with the hopes of visiting the “Oprah Winfrey Show” on a day when La Winfrey dispensed her favorite things. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t help but envy her pleasurable mood.

When I arrived at the good doctor’s, I announced myself to the doorman who told me to go right up. I was so not in the mood for this. I’d been rehashing the events between Jack and I over and over in my head since he unexpectedly (and permanently) left the apartment too days ago. I really didn’t want to be forced to verbalize it.

“Hello, Avery.” Dr. Drexel Carrington said with a smile, as he opened his door. “Come on in.”

I blushed. In all my sorrow, I’d forgotten just how hot the good doctor was. Maybe I was in the mood for this therapy session. I did, after all, have a lot on my mind.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Avery in Bed

I didn’t leave my bed for two days. I didn’t answer the telephone either. I’m sure a search party was sent out for me, but I didn’t care. I was alone. The two cats were there, but Jack was gone. And he took the television set.

Luckily, the night that Jack moved out was my last night at hospital for a few days. I have never been happier to be off of work in my entire life. How could I care for any ill patients in my state? How could I offer comfort to one of the scared children who’d been admitted to my unit.

Nurse Avery, my tummy hurts.

Cut to Nurse Avery standing at the end of the child’s bed, reading the patient chart. A cigarette in desperate need of ashing hanging dangles from the nurse’s lips.

Nurse Avery
Ha! You don’t know from hurting, kid. Talk to me when your metabolism slows down, your hairline recedes and the man who told you he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you steals away in the middle of the night, leaving you with a broken heart, a mortgage and an overly expensive bill for 375 cable channels that you can’t watch because he also stole your TV.

My nursing career flashed before my eyes. This wasn’t good. I had to snap out of it. I glanced at my bedside clock. 10:00 AM. I wasn’t due to see the good doctor for another three hours. I dreaded it.

It’s amazing how acclimated a person can get to a specific environment. Short of going to the bathroom, I hadn’t gotten out of my bed in days. I would have been happy never to leave again. My bed was comfortable and safe. I felt as though nothing could harm me so long I was between my 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.

As wonderful as that fantasy was, I knew it was just that. I couldn’t hide in my bedroom forever. I would have to go back to work eventually. I would have to return my friends’ phone calls at some point. And my cats would probably turn to cannibalization if I didn’t feed them soon.

The scheduled appointment with Dr. Drexel Carrington would be just the motivation I needed to get back into the grove of things. After all, I’d left his office on cloud nine when I’d last seen him. I was sure that I’d feel the exact same way this afternoon. All I had to do was get out of bed.