A Few Days Away

(Dedicated to Dan & Kim Locke.)

Tara’s attention is divided between her work, looking at her laptop one moment, the next second, she’ll be on the phone with a client/patient. She is a General Nurse Practitioner, performing her magic in telehealth appointments for a virtual clinic, based out of New York.

I’m not even going to pretend to know how to write about what she does, professionally. I respect her and her field of work too much to butcher the goodness with bad writing.

What I DO know, and what I am qualified to write about, is what she does when she is off the computer, & when the phone is not stitched onto her hand. Today it would be preparing us for a trip to Asheville, NC. That is my birthday present: two nights in a nice hotel, in what she says is the “freakiest” city in the state.

“But, compared to you, it’s tame,” she said with a smile & a laugh.

I like the idea.

As a Professional Freak, I am curious to see what Asheville, North Carolina has in its buffet. Not that I’ll be seeking out any kind of wildness. Don’t really need to. My average day & temperament & actions satisfy me just fine.

About the wildest thing I’m going to do is find a used bookstore. Well, maybe there will be some “other” wild things I’m going to do. But I want to keep this column to be rated PG… PG-13, max.

(My little nieces might read these pieces of mine, one day. And the last thing they need to read about is their Uncle Andy-Boo’s adult exploits.)

Laundry, of course, needs to be done.

Reservations need to be made, I think. When I was talking to the helpful Hotel front desk lady on the phone a few days ago, she informed me it would be wise to make dinner reservations. Sadly, it has nothing to do with the restaurants being fancy, or busy. It’s actually the off-season in Ashville. Nothing much is going on. It’s not the time for tourists. Reservations should be made because of low staffing.

This is going to be the first birthday I have truly celebrated, in a traditional sense, in years.

Two years in a row, “celebrating” my birthday was going to a restaurant with my parents… after they picked me up from two different hospitals, in two different cities, over the same thing. Some of the other birthdays, I was just lost. Or: in some kind of institution/rehab. Birthdays wasted without phone calls or cards.

Anger.

Frustration.

Disappointing those that I love most.

That is what I turned My Special Day into.

Cynically, it’s just another day. That is how I justified it. And why & who in the world wants to celebrate the day I came into the world? Last thing I needed, at the time, was a reminder I was somewhat attached to a world I felt discarded from.

It’s supposed to be different this year. And, oh, things have been different & wonderful & new & surprising.

Hopefully, all those things will make it to 12:00 am, January 23, 2022.

Hopefully, it will go beyond that. And I hope everyone can feel & witness some of the joys & miricals I have been gifted with over the past few months.

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