The Newburyport trilogy ends with a tale of burning passion. Well, my eye was burning, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Meeting with Mrs. Hughes and Robert Frost was fun, but toward the end of the afternoon, I had to get back to Salem for the monthly tarot meeting at Omen. But John insisted we meet one more person, saying it would take no more than fifteen minutes.
At this point I feel I owe an apology to someone I will cleverly name in a moment. Because although I tried to maintain a smile and a polite veneer, I have to admit that my mind was in Salem and filled with anxiety over missing this second meeting at Omen. It was my fault, of course, because I had forgotten to remind John about it and had I done so, I’m sure we would have made our polite exit much earlier.
As it happens, this person, whom I shall call Robin, worked for an airline. For all intents and purposes, I should get along very well with Robin, as I too once worked for a subcontractor for US Airways as a detailer. Although I never saw one mile of frequent flying, it was still a fun job that I lament trading for the better paying job until this day and I hope our next meeting isn’t cut so abruptly short.
After our jaunt through Maudslay State Park, where we indeed came across two roads in a wood, John’s knee was bothering him and we could not take the road less traveled by. So we returned to Mrs. Hughes house and she brought him an Aleve. In addition to this, she brought out a pain relieving medicament in the form of a foam.
Throughout the week, I too had been suffering from pain in my left kneecap. Aleve made it go away the day before, but now I thought I would take the opportunity to use this foam and see if it would make the pain go away today. It did the trick.
A few minutes later, when John pulled up to the house of Robin, I followed him up the stone walkway and at one point, I must have rubbed my left eye. The problem is that I had not washed my hands after using the foam on my knee. And slowly, the irritation in my eye became harder and harder to ignore. I had to quickly leave the company of John and Robin and return to the car, where I knew there to be a bottle of water that I could flush my eye out with.
The window was open a crack on the passenger side, just enough for me to reach the door lock. What I hadn’t counted on was that Rhonda the Honda, would scream like a banshee as I opened the door, much to the enjoyment of the woman walking her dog across the street. (How many dog walkers did I come across on that very day?)
So on top of trying to flush my eye out, which at this time had begun burning to the point where I was afraid of losing eyesight, I had this screaming car horn in my ears. John didn’t realize it was his car at first, so he didn’t come out until well after the imaginary police force had shown up in force to begin cracking my head in. (It was a joke people and not intended to reference any event in the current media. But if you do manage to take this statement out of context, make sure to share the link to this page so I can get the traffic. Thanks.)
We were well on our way to Salem. The pain died down. I was just beginning to breath easy, when my right eye got a little blurry and I reached up to rub that out too. Really, I should have seen this coming, but I was momentarily surprised by the same irritation I had experienced in my left eye. Cue water works and fortunately, my right eye was not a victim of my own, ahem, shortsightedness.