I knew her as Margaret. It was many years later that I learned she goes by Maggie. Maybe she did at the time and I didn’t know it. I just knew her name was Margaret and I found her quite attractive. We were both in seventh grade. I invited her to see a movie. It was the first time I ever invited a girl out. And it was one of the last. I was too shy and self-conscious and generally intimidated by girls to ask them on dates until…hmm, maybe “is” fits better here. Though I’m not planning on asking anyone out on a date, just to clarify. At any rate, the movie was Fantastic Voyage, in which a submarine and its crew were shrunken to microscopic size and injected into a human body. I don’t recall much more than that. In fact, I did not recall the name of the film until I looked up, on Google, “movie in which people are shrunk down and go inside a human body.” The top link took me directly to the IMDb site which described the movie. I didn’t read it. I didn’t need to know more than the name of the film. I didn’t actually need to know it. I just wanted to.
So, the reason Maggie, AKA Margaret, is on my mind is that I spoke to my wife about her this morning for reasons that largely escape me but may relate to last night’s dream. I told my wife about the odd dream in which I was floating in space, chasing after treatment capsules. My wife said, “You have such a vivid imagination,” and I told her it wasn’t my imagination, it was my reality, my reality in dreamland. I said I felt like I actually experienced floating in space, just like the shrunken people in “that movies in which people are shrunk down and go inside a human body.” THAT’s the connection, then, isn’t it?!
At any rate, I mentioned that I took Maggie on one date. Though I didn’t continue with my thoughts in the conversation, I remembered that I wanted to see her more, but I didn’t have the courage to ask her out again. Perhaps I sensed that she wasn’t impressed with me in the way I was impressed with her. For whatever reason, we never dated again and I think she went off to Catholic high school a few years later. I encountered her during my senior year in high school when a friend, who taught English at Del Mar Junior College, invited me to join him and one of his fellow teachers (I’ll call her Susan, though that’s not her name) for a beer at her house. None of us seemed to be concerned that these two people, he a good five years older than I and she a good thirty years older, were corrupting a young man too young to buy beer. It didn’t bother me. Susan, it turns out, was Maggie’s mother. And Maggie (or Margaret, as I called her) came home with her boyfriend during my visit. He was an attorney, I think, or was studying law. At least that’s the way I remember it. She seemed very mature and intelligent. I don’t know whether she remembered me as the seventh grade boy who took her to see Fantastic Voyage five years earlier.
And that was the last time I saw Maggie. But I somehow managed to catch up with her many years later, thanks to Facebook. She’s since stopped posting because her job asked her to stay off social media. She’s an Assistant U.S. Attorney. She has a chronic gastrointestinal illness/condition, the same one I have, but I gather it’s much worse than mine every was. And she’s divorced from an abusive husband and has a college-aged daughter. And I learned she’s a Republican. But, from what I gather, she’s not a nut-case, far-right-wing Republican and, based on some communications from her, she may be considering a switch.
From what I’ve written about her, you might think I know her well and stay in touch. Don’t think that, because it’s not the case. I haven’t had more than a handful of communications with her over the past six or seven years and, for at least the past four years I’ve only communicated with her once or twice a year, when I send her a birthday greeting via email or when something triggers a thought I decide to share with her.
All the preceding lengthy spillage from my brain notwithstanding, I had only one thing I wanted to document with this post, and that’s a silly little thing I said to my wife during our conversation this morning.
“I took her out on a date once. She’s a Republican. I can’t even believe I dated a Republican! I’m so deeply ashamed of myself! How could I have done it?! I pride myself on being open-minded and inclusive, but that was just beyond the pale!”
Of course, my comments were facetious and mildly ironic, but they were nonetheless inappropriately crude and uncalled for. You know, typical me.
This post was interrupted by a brief phone call from my brother, who told me various doctors and other hospital staff are trying to decide whether his wound infection should be debrided as originally determined by the ER docs and cardiovascular surgeons more than a week ago or whether the intravenous antibiotic treatment continued. It seems they are leaning toward continued antibiotic treatment, but not in Methodist Hospital. They seem to be leaning toward moving him to Kindred Hospital, where he would stay for two or three weeks while his wound continues to be monitored and treated and where he would continue physical therapy, etc. He thinks he’ll know more by next Tuesday or Wednesday. I suspect they will decide sooner, but we shall see. And that’s all I have to say this morning. So far.