If yesterday was difficult
to get through, today began starting to look as if it would be worse. It was.
Angie stormed into my office
this morning and demanded that I come remove ‘Babycake’s from hers. Babycakes is the name we coined for Harry’s
mutated Venus Flytrap. An experimental hybrid of Dr. Green’s, it surprised us when it seemed to enjoy my blood, shed
in anger, into one of its toothy leaves. Regularly, Harry insisted, (as a scientific investigation, he said) that I continue
to feed it.
Well, finally I put my foot
down yesterday, and we began feeding it protein shakes. You’d think the
damn plant would have been grateful for a full meal instead of the few drops of blood a week I’d been giving it.
“It ate some of
my African Violet’s, Lee!” Angie was on the verge of tears. Her African Violets were the stuff of legend, started
from rather pathetic looking plants on clearance from a local grocer, into massive, gloriously abundant plants full of lush
leaves and blooms. They had even appeared in the local paper!
Of course she was upset
as she showed me two of them in her arms, almost shredded to bits.
“What am I supposed to do?” I asked, “it’s simple enough. Move
your plants someplace else.”
“They like where
they are, Lee! Why can’t the
flytrap go in the Admiral’s office? Why mine?”
“Because the outer
office is also his,” I muttered, only belatedly realizing that she’d called me ‘Lee’, Battle Station warning if ever there was one and I was unprepared.
“I mean it , Lee.
If you won’t move it, I’ll tell Chip where you hid his grandmother’s
“You know about
that, hmm?” I had to grin after the revelation that she knew about my stash of some of the items from the ‘care packages’ he got from home.
Administrative Assistant. I know everything. Well, okay, not the top secret stuff, but I sure as hell know what goes on here,
I was glad it was morning
and Harry was at the golf course with Admiral Starke ,who’d flown in last
night. Oh joy. So when he did return to his office, Harry would find the move it a ‘fait accompli’.
I chose to place it
in the corner of his panoramic window overlooking the bay. A nice sunny window like it had had in Angie’s office. So
it wouldn’t come to any harm. I couldn’t say the same for me as my hands and arms brushed against some of the
leafy spikes, drawing blood, like a cactus. I decided that while it was on a diet of protein shakes now, I might as well let
it have a couple drops of me for dessert.
My duty done to avert
blackmail, as I returned to the outer office, sucking on one of my still
dripping fingers, she asked me if she should offer us her congratulations. After all, Lola had had that Dr.'s appointment
asked, confused. “She’s allergic to Doc’s tofu barley muffins…”
face fell, “then she’s not….er….”she paused.
There are times when
even Submarine Captains can be stupid. This was such a time.
know, do you?” she said, “you didn’t even suspect?”
Look, Angie, she’s fine…I just can bring any of Doc’s health stuff home to her…”
She took a sorrowing look
at me and told me if I couldn’t add nausea and morning
together, she wondered how I managed to keep Seaview from running into undersea mountains. Of course, the boat had, on occasion done so, but those were instrumentation and mechanical failures, not my errors.
Then what else
she’d said struck me. Lola had been getting sick. Sick in the morning.
I think I said before my vision faded and I woke to find myself on the thick carpet, my face being slapped gently and she holding ammonia under my nose. Then I felt her press hard against the back of my head, which
had apparently hit the edge of the coffee table.
I muttered as I saw her bloody hands grab more gauze from the First Aid kit to staunch
the flow of blood.
Lie still. I’ve called for Doc.”
fine,” I managed to sit up, “embarrassed, but fine,” I took over holding the gauze over the cut, “I’ll
use the Admiral’s head to clean up. I’ll bring a clean towel back for the carpet,” I added, as blood and
the fluffy white shag rug under the coffee table didn’t exactly mix. He was proud of the little rug which had been made
from the sheared off wool of a llama. It had been purchased by his late mother and was one of the few items he’d brought
from Boston when he’d laid down the foundations for NIMR.
said. “You’ll ruin it. I’ll take it to the cleaners.”
notice it’s not here,” I headed to Nelson’s office.
she said firmly, “it was an accident. He’ll hardly blame you.”
“But it is my
fault. How could I have not noticed that Lola might have been….”I still couldn’t say the word.
“Well, she isn’t
so it’s a moot point. Now, you go get cleaned up and…”
Will Jamieson arrived, along with two corpsmen and a stretcher.
I looked to Angie for help.
“Must be low blood
sugar,” she lied pointedly as he approached, grabbed my arm and began to poke, prod and examine by eyes with that little
pen light I hate.
and let me see!” he ordered.
not. I keep telling you to eat regular meals. Now, come along. I want to check your blood sugar.”
just take my word for it?”
And so I spent the better
half of the morning in the Med. Center as Doc checked all my vitals, and finally determined that I was fine except for the
slight, and I do mean slight, concussion and cut to my scalp, and released me to the custody of Lola. I didn’t mind
that. We had to have that little talk I’d been promising myself to put to her ever since we become lovers. We still
need that talk.
First, she wanted to know
why I went to the Dr. yesterday. (Angie had told her I’d gone there) So I told her. Bad move. While my consultation regarding the removal of my tattoo hadn’t been all that hopeful, ( I mean, why go
through 12 to 14 sessions of agony for something that, in my case, would only have a 60% success rate), she was angry that
I had even thought about the procedure without telling her.
I responded that we
weren’t married and I didn’t have to get her permission for every little thing I do.
Well, in a nutshell,
I soon found myself locked out of the bedroom, until she came out a few minutes later, suitcase in hand, and slammed out of
the apartment. The sound of her crying had made me feel like a first class heel. I mean, I hadn’t planned on asking her to marry me. Well, okay, I'm
not at that point yet, but we did need to talk about the possibility of
children. Do we want them? Do we not want them? We don’t always use protection. Now, however, I doubt we’ll need
it if she’s going to make such an issue over me getting rid of my tattoo and locks me out. And it’s not as if
she even likes it. But i guess it had been something that she felt privileged to know about first hand. A bedroom secret.
Only time will tell
if we’ll get back together again. I packed up a few of my things to come back to my own apartment, and left her a note
that I’ll be getting my first treatment to remove my tattoo tomorrow. I
don’t actually have an appointment, but she doesn’t know that. I’m just so pissed off that she thinks she
can tell me what to do or not with my own tattoo!
It’s almost midnight
now and my apartment’s a lonely empty place, devoid of laughter and happy memories. God, I miss her.
Maybe I should call Harry. By now I’m sure he’s been informed about my little accident and the rug, not to mention
that Babycakes is in his own office now.
I just need somebody to talk
The tattoo can wait.