Nine November has a few notable historical events. I intended to write a post centred on the three, but after ploughing through a page, I think not, I’m going whimsical (a fingernail on blackboard word for me) and into embarrassment.

In the summer of 1973, my teeth jockeyed for mouthspace supremacy and messed with my health. Wisdom teeth encroached into the back end of a mouth too small, in the process caused swelling as one abscessed. The swelling had to dwindle before removal. With medication for this purpose in hand, he scheduled surgery a week later.

Because of what doctors then considered a heart murmur and I know now sources from the mitral valve, the surgery was in a hospital. The day before, I received a pre-admission call. The interviewer had a personal question for me. Are you the nelle (insert old name here) who went to such and such Catholic elementary school? With my affirmative answer, she identified herself. We graduated from that school five years before. During our march to adolescence there she had a crush on me, whereas I was rather indifferent, with a hopeful try for oblivious. She was nice enough, but the me of that age was emotionally immature, something that continued right on through high school. I was the youngest of my class, such that I started college at 17, and emotionally 14.

The oral surgery was at age 18, which is when E called. By that summer, I had made a huge leap forward in maturity, what with a year of college completed. We chatted for a while and she went through her questions. The next day, on admission, I sat across from her, reviewing information. E promised to stop up and visit me, since I would be there from Tuesday until Thursday, but there was no sign of her Tuesday night, nor all of Wednesday.

In those days, I was notorious as a picky eater, and hospital food was a no go with me, as in none, not a thing interested me, yuck. After surgery on Wednesday morning, I did not eat anything. By Thursday morning, I’d not eaten since Tuesday – and aside from getting up for use of the bathroom, I lay in bed. Discharge day, yay! I get dressed and ready to go, only to have a nurse come in with a needle what looked meant for a horse. She instructed me to drop the slacks I just put on, and yes, your underwear too. This was not a good thing; I knew where the horse needle was going, and I was none too pleased. Being dutiful, down both went, with me flashing my overwhite backside, something sufficiently brilliant it would probably have better served as a lighthouse beacon.

The combination of no food for two days, lying in bed for the same amount of time, and the horse needle conspired, and the confluence of these three upon insertion of the needle sent me following my dropped clothing downward.

The ever vigilant nurse caught my faint such that I did not end up in a crumpled heap and manoeuvred me onto the bed, where I came to with slacks and underwear down to my knees. With impeccable timing, E walked into the room with the usual wide smile of a visitor to the infirmed – and retreated faster than I can type the period on the end of this sentence.

I wonder what went through her mind in that moment. Did she flush red and scurry back to her workstation in silence, or did she point out to staff how the patient in room 308 or whatever was rather exposed? Did she tell her friends and family, or attempt to shoo the memory into her mental recycle bin? If this incident happened today, more likely my over exposure would be on Youtube within minutes.

I never did find out her reaction; we have not spoken since that day some 38 plus years ago. I hope my increased visibility then did not scar her for life. More likely, my subsequent revelation as a trannie and teamed with my conviction, chawed up any residual fond childhood memories she still possessed. At least my dykehood remained a personal fact held close, but I suspect that too would have served up some queasiness for her.

The incident made me laugh then and makes me laugh to this day. Who knows, maybe she laughs too.

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