ER
May 2, 2016

“…and then I went to church.”

“That’ll be the day.”

” What I did was even worse.”

“Worse than going to church?”

I nodded.

“Okay,” my guest sipped his beer and stretched his legs. “This is gonna be  a long one.”

“Well, I have this book…”

“This book? You can’t sit down around here without landing on one.”

“It’s a cocktail table book. Most people don’t sit on cocktail tables,” I sniffed. “It’s called Luxury Equestrian Design and I keep it around to remind me what a peasant I am.”

“You can say that again.”

“It’s so classy the pages aren’t even numbered.  But on page 34–I counted–there’s a picture of Seattle Slew’s grave.”

“Triple Crown. Earned $1,207,726.”

“All you think about is money. He was a People’s Horse. And he’s buried whole, just like Ari, at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Kentucky.”

“So?”

“,,,so his grave is so enormous and so blazingly alive with blossoms and color and grace and style it takes your breathe away. He was a year younger than Ari and, like him, died in his sleep. He’s buried in his favorite green blanket with a little bag of peppermints he loved. Ari didn’t wear a blanket but he’s off to the Happy Hunting Ground with a whole bottle of  Cornflake Butter Crunch Cookies. Maybe when they meet, which I’m sure they will, they’ll share.”

My friend slurped. “And?”

“And,” I replied, “if Seattle Slew can be so honored and beloved, I mean if it’s  good enough for him, it’s good enough for Ari. So I set out to make his grave as rich and gorgeous. I bought plants, I bought gloves, I bought doohickey  gardening tools  from a garden center–I even bought new gardening shoes–and raced off on a new path.”

“And?”

“…and the shoes put a blister on my foot and it rained and my shoes got wet and my foot got infected and at one o’clock in the morning I set off for Wilcox. I think I was in shock. The wound was open and red and sore and swollen and feverish and a little red line was running up my leg.”

“Skip the gory details, but whatever happened to the little old miss self- healer- squealer?”

“Healer- squealer shuffle dealer,  I  don’t play around with tetanus and blood poisoning. No way. But know what?”

“What?”

“Turned into such a pleasant surprise. I  couldn’t’ve met a nicer bunch of people. The lady who signed me in. The darling male nurse with the pony tail who listened patiently to my tale of woe. The doctor, a neighbor, who had much compassion. The lady nurse who gave me two of the most painless shots I’ve ever had. I went home happy.  With a prescription  I won’t fill. Met a  pharmacist  who talked me out of filling it. I’m in the process of healing myself. So hahaha…

…but let me tell you something, if you’re ever in trouble and need an ER go to Wilcox.”