Thoughts Akimbo

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Timeline of Joe’s heartburn

10 p.m. – Joe eats unwise bedtime snack and goes to sleep.

1 a.m. – He wakes up with serious heartburn and moves to the recliner; it only helps a little.

3:30 a.m. – Joe’s wife awakens and finds him suffering in the recliner. She brings him antacid tablets only she knew were in the house.

3:31 a.m. – Heartburn disappears.

3:32 a.m. – Joe thanks her and goes back to bed.

3:33 a.m. – Wife chastises him for not waking her earlier. He thanks her again and falls asleep.

3:50 a.m. – Wife wakes him Joe to ask how he feels. He feels fine. She makes him promise he will tell her, any time, day or night, if he is in pain and needs help. Because doesn’t he understand that they are a team, for Heaven’s sake? Joe mumbles the words “promise” and “team,” and then begins to softly snore.

3:52 a.m. – She gets up for a glass of orange juice, gets back in bed, and mentally says a prayer thanking the Creator of the Universe for over-the-counter medications. She congratulates herself for keeping the antacids in stock. She tries unsuccessfully to fall back to sleep.

4 a.m. – She tries to remember the names of all her elementary school teachers. She gets them all right except for her fourth-grade teacher, who used to belch into a cloth handkerchief after lunch. She wonders if they had invented antacids yet, in the ’70s. She realizes she doesn’t remember the first names of any of her teachers, because she never knew they had first names. But they must have. She wonders if anyone still uses cloth handkerchiefs.

5 a.m. – She remembers that her high school drama teacher, Mr. Callaway, always wore tight, red pants and an ascot, and she wonders if he was gay. She wonders why she has never wondered this before. In her head, she sings all the songs from the Broadway musical Oklahoma, which they performed in her senior year, but can’t remember the lyrics to “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top.” She thinks the lyrics included a reference to rich, Corinthian leather. She wonders if Ricardo Montalban is still alive. She remembers that the little man from Fantasy Island was named “Tattoo,” but can’t remember if he had any visible tattoos.

5:10 a.m. The tune to “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top” continues to play endlessly in her mind.

5:30 a.m. – She checks on Joe; he’s still asleep. She whispers goodnight, but he does not reply.

5:32 a.m. – She drifts off to sleep and dreams she is being chased by a tattooed handkerchief as she swims through a glass of orange juice with a fringe on top.

5:35 a.m. – She awakens, realizing the juice has given her heartburn. But it’s dark. And she can’t remember where she left the antacids.


1 Comment»

  Tad Krzemien wrote @

Sometimes i experience some really bad heartburn. The only solution to heartburn is to take some antacid and watch your food intake. “….

Yours trully

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