Singapore Adventure

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Perfect Summer Afternoon
by venitha

Awaiting Jim's Taxi Service on a perfect summer afternoon, I'm sprawled on the grass beneath the shade of twin crabapple trees. After nodding off in my dentist's deserted waiting room, I abandoned the too-comfortable loveseat for the less-embarrassing-to-doze-on perfectly-coiffed lawn outside. The book I just finished, a depressing memoir by a survivor of the killing fields, is more effective as my pillow than as a Cambodian travel brochure; and it's a hardcover. I banish the second thoughts I'm having about our prospective tour of Cambodia in September - Out! Out, damned thoughts! - and I fleetingly wish I'd swiped a cushion from the loveseat.

Tammy, the cheerful receptionist who has worked miracles for us this week, pulls up in an oversized , sporting a ponytail, a tank top, and an adolescent daughter. Must be her day off. Junior's jet black hair leaves me casting a curious glance at Tammy's pretty platinum curls, but I don't move. If she recognizes me, she'll come over and chat, but over-socialized lately to the point of extreme bitchiness to loved ones, I prefer to remain silently incognito behind dark sunglasses.

A cool, light breeze stirs the leaves above me, and I stretch one languorous foot into the sun, taking a tip from Australia's crocodiles to regulate my body temperature. The tension of two weeks packed solid with healthcare appointments, stock-up shopping sprees, and meal after meal after meal with found-lost-found-lost friends - Hello! Good-bye! - slowly oozes from my shoulders. I inhale slowly, then exhale completely. Ah, bliss.

I wake with the slam of a car door. Tammy's gas-guzzling SUV has been replaced by Marilyn's sporty sedan. I guiltily pull my un-suncreened foot into the shade, check my watch, and call languidly to Jim as he saunters toward the dentist office door.

He shoots me the smile that I love so well, then comes and sits beside me, emanating massage-induced relaxation.

"Done being cranky?"

"Yeah. You?"