Tag Archives: books
I remember the day he came onto the unit. The handsome neurosurgeon. He was from the West Indes, but he looked like he was from India. He was joining the medical staff. I was just a physical therapist. Some of his patients would need my services.
He was very professional and all about doing his job. He accepted all patients that came to him. He was confident in everything he did. He usually had a couple of residents from general surgery working alongside him. I would briefly see him whenever he was done or between patients in the OR to check on a patient on the floor. Otherwise, I would see him on morning rounds where he usually waited for my report on how certain patients were doing with rehabilitation.
I’ll always remember the day the department wanted a picture of the neurosurgery staff for the wall in the lounge. I have always been a bit camera shy, so held back hoping to not get in the picture. He reached out and beckoned me in next to him. He was on my right, and gently laid his hand behind my left shoulder. He kept it there, even after the picture was done as others started dispersing. He stood there. I felt awkward moving away from him. Although I felt honored that he embraced me in that way. I felt valuable to the team.
He was talking to the camera man, then he finally turned to me. His hand was still on my shoulder.
“These wonderful people are the reason I can do my job well.” he said, referring to me as one of them. He had glistening eyes as he took an intimate look into mine. I stepped back because now that we were facing each other, we were in each other’s personal space, kissing distance. I envisioned myself in an out-of-body mode, reaching forward and kissing him. He was strikingly handsome. His kindness, gentle skill with his hands, and intelligence were all a turn-on for me. But I stepped back away. He immediately dropped his hand.
The following weeks he continued to being focused on his patients. He managed to clear a backlog of surgeries waiting almost a year to be done. The patients’ well-being came before anything else. There was a day his schedule was full of complicated surgeries. We were all there well beyond our usual work hours. I had to help my shift replacement organize the orders for the evening. It so happened later, we were headed to the parking lot at the same time. He had a parking spot close to the hospital. I had one further out. He called out to me. I turned, he came trotting forward, holding his briefcase.
“You aren’t going out there in the dark by yourself,” he said. Then he suggested that I should have called for a security escort. Again, I felt awkward, because my car was far into the parking lot. Here the neurosurgeon was walking me to my car. I really would have rathered him not. I was cautious enough and always kept my eyes far into the distance.
“Do you live far?” he asked.
“No,” I answered. “Just five minutes away.”
“I have a thirty minute drive.” he commented, shaking his head. “I didn’t realize the traffic would be so congested. Since it’s night, I’m sure I’ll get there in fifteen.” he smiled. I couldn’t focus on what he was saying because I wanted to hurry and get to my car, plus… what do I do when I get in?… Do I offer him a ride back to his car? I hated being in these awkward situations.
We finally got there. I went on and offered the ride. There was no harm in that. He declined and bid me a nice evening and headed back to his car. I hesitated starting my car. I certainly didn’t want to pass him walking. I waited a couple of minutes, then backed out. He was almost to his car. Instead of passing him, I rolled down my window, slowed down, and thanked him again. He waved and shook his head, saying no problem.
As luck would have it, that weekend I saw him at the local Barnes and Noble. He was sitting there in the cafe section reading a newspaper and wearing his glasses low on his nose. I tapped on his table and waved. He invited me to sit down. I couldn’t decline after he shifted some books and magazines he had there onto a chair. I put down my books then went to the counter to order my coffee.
It turned out to be a very nice afternoon. We talked about a lot of things, outside of our work. Since he wasn’t born in America, he was intrigued with my knowlege of American History. I was impressed with his thirst for knowlege, and how he knew a little about a lot of things.
Toward the end, he asked me out on a dinner date. I was stunned. A handsome doctor, single, whom a lot of the women staff had been whispering about, asked me out? I wasn’t even in the top twenty of the beautiful women who had been admiring him. How did he come to pick me? Well, he did. and his interest was real.
We went out on several dates after that and realized that we got along well with each other. He was a true gentleman. One thing, he never flaunted his money. He didn’t have a fancy car, or even a fancy home. He lived in a small condominium that he kept neat and clean, with mainstream furniture and electronics.
Each day, we became more and more connected to each other. He couldn’t wait to see me, nor I, him. We kept up with what each other was doing during and after work. We shared so much. We became not just a couple in love, but best friends. We went hiking and sight-seeing together. We came to care for each other so much that we wanted to journey through the rest of our lives together. We had not consummated our relationship and were trying our best to hold off for when it was the right time. We would cuddle on the sofa as we read or watched television. The sheer possibilites of us being more intimate was stimulating to my imagination. It made for an alluring tension.
A year and a half later, he finally proposed. We had a beautful wedding. Everyone, including the hospital staff was there to witness our official union into a married couple. They had witnessed our journey from the beginning. At work, I would feel a tinge in my heart when I would see him. We shared ‘I love you’s’, and kissed when ever we parted and rejoined each other.
Our first year of marriage, I give birth to our beautiful daughter, Joni René . She was the light of our lives. We made her during times of immense love we had for each other. We raised her the same way we lived, modestly.
We didn’t have a large house or large car. We bought basic toys like dolls and kitchen sets for her. My husband was very big into philanthropy and we donated a great deal to certain charities. We spent money modestly, secured our futures, and college for Joni René . We volunteered once a month at the local homeless shelter.
When Joni was eight years old, I had decided to surprise my husband with a birthday dinner. His secretary phoned me later that afternoon to tell me that he had a late case that day that would go into the evening hours. I decided to take a plate and some wine to his office and we could sit at his desk with two forks and have his birthday dinner together. I got everything ready, fixed myself up, grabbed our meal and stored it in a soft thermal case, grabbed the bottle of wine, and his birthday gift, and headed to the hospital.
I got to the floor where his office was. If I had known then what I know now, I would have stopped there and turned around. The nurses looked at me with secrecy in their eyes. I thought their eagerness was to see me surprise him. They didn’t stop me. I think they wanted to see drama unfold. Well, it did to some degree.
I got to his door and opened it, not expecting to see him there. My jaw dropped. My hands and arms lost tone so I dropped everything I was holding onto the floor. The wine bottle shattered. I felt a sharp sting against my ankle. My vision became warped but then back into focus.
There he was leaning against a nurse sitting on his desk. They were kissing. His hands were around her back and under her top.
I ran back down the hall to the elevator. I pushed the down button ferociously. My mind couldn’t think. I just had the visual. My heart wasted no time going into an ache. I thought I was having a heart attack. My legs were trembling as I rode down the elevator. I walked fast and awkwardly down the front entry to the parking lot My heels were high and I sprained my ankle as I ran to my car. I got in quickly. I looked back, and I didn’t see him coming after me.
Stay tuned for Part II…
So, as instructed by writing experts, I have developed my characters. Did it about a year ago. So for awhile now, my characters have been waiting on me. They each have a name, a family, issues in their past, likes, dislikes, personality traits, goals/aspirations. They each come with an elaborate backstory (which I’ll have to weave in) as they each make their personal debut.
So my characters sit and wait. Like on the set for a movie, siting in costume, waiting to step into their respective roles. They’re bored. I imagine my protagonist male character lying on his back on a bench, one leg hanging off, the right forearm covering his eyes. The characters at his scene have small-talked ad nauseam. They have nothing to talk about except what has already been scripted for them. The only thing they have in common with each other is the storyline I created.
There they sit, on the set, stuck at a scene, waiting for the director (me) to deliver their next lines. I haven’t done so in weeks. Writer’s block?? I don’t know what that is, because I’d hoped it would never apply to me.
By the way, the setting where they wait is in rural Louisiana, where it’s hot and steamy. Agonizingly uncomfortable. Some have loosened their costumes, and kicked off their shoes. Those who have a part near the fetid swamp have to endure it, because at any time, I might pick up that section and edit it. I expect them to jump up and resume their positions in the scenes. I might waver them back and forth for awhile. Take them this way, then no, that way. But they tolerate it. All the time. They’re my characters.
I do care for them, my patiently-waiting characters. My men- and ladies-in-waiting. I haven’t forgotten them. They are relying on me to come around. So, I will. Stay tuned.
When I’m at a bookstore – independent or like a Barnes and Noble, I get a euphoria that is undescribable. When I walk in, I actually feel enveloped by a force of literary greatness in the air. With the utmost respect, I browse the shelves as though I am at a gallery of fine art, admiring covers and titles, and author names. I know that behind those covers lie literature that has been nutured through a process – starting with the writer and his creative way with words. An elaborate story expected to unfold within the reader’s imagination. Perhaps rather, the work would enhance the reader’s intellect with a compilation of facts, figures, and tables.
Books of hardback or paper, small and large, pictureless or artful. They all have gone through a process. From the author to the agent, followed by the editor, then the publishing house, and ultimately a highly selective process to make it where it is – on display by this noble establishment.
New books of this millenium share the shelves with the likeness of the great authors such as Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, and others. These same titles were enjoyed by people who waited at the docks for the first printings to arrive from Europe by ship. Current successful authors such as Stephen King, JK Rowling, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and others are recognizeable.
Will my book ever make it there? I actually scanned the shelves to see exactly where my books would reside (based on alphabetized order). I wouldn’t mind being in the New York Times Bestsellers section either. But I won’t ask for too much. Just having the darned thing published and in a bookstore would be a lot for me. Well, I guess I’d like people to not just pass it by, either.
Entertain people, allow them to forget about the trials and tribulations that are inevitably in every person’s life, to experience a great story.. is my goal. And yeah, it came from me. I like it, so I hope you do, too.
That Euphoria draws me in. Look at those books, the people taken in. It entices me…
To grace bookstore shelves, dress display windows (like at the airport), and now, be projected through Kindle screens is the future any writer wants for his book. Needless to say, the writer really wants people to read and enjoy his/her work. (I would be ecstatic if just one, one person read and enjoyed my book – beyond the agent and editor, of course.
For me, there would really be no joy unless my book was bought, read, and enjoyed by others. Just gracing bookshelves is only one lick of the icecream cone. I would be most satisfied if my book were to be enjoyed not only by many now, but also by many in years (hundreds) to come.
That’s asking a lot for someone who has little talent. But hey, ask any writer, dreaming is the fun part..
Listen, to be remembered by name plus a few honorable facts hundreds from years from now is fulfilling. What is even more fulfilling is to be remembered by name AND by the literary value of your imaginative work. Oh, how I’d want my book to be on a required reading list, be a souce of a book report, have my characters be referred to on a test…one hundred years from now.
Think Jesus, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Austen, Twain, Wright, etc. and this is not even a beginning of a comprehensive list. (No, I know Jesus didn’t write a book, but his parables were written in the minds and hearts of people, and here we are 2,017 years later referring to them.)
That would be success for me. It is not why I want to write, but it is the method by which I would measure my success as a writer. Certainly not by any dollar amount.