The Summer of My Dis(content)

Marilyn Myerson

I wring my hands in frustration. They never should’ve sent a 16 year old girl to do a grown woman’s job. “Please, Mrs. Georgiopoulos”, I address the skin-and-bones woman lying mutely in the confines of her narrow hospital bed, her unswerving gaze fixed upward. Is she deciphering secret sketches by Michelangelo in the stained ceiling tiles?

Her recalcitrant silence echoes off the walls, her old lady smell permeates my nostrils. “Do you want tomato juice or orange?” I persist. The hairy mole on her lip flutters its spidery legs as she draws a slow breath. I stare at this creepy-crawly in disgust, thinking no magical potion of citrus is going to make that go away.

“Please”, my whiny tone cannot hide my growing impatience. “Just tell me! If I go back to the office without your menu sheet filled in, I could get fired.” Was that literally true – Who knew? This was my first ever day at my first ever job, dietitian’s aide at the local hospital.

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