It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Anna and I are enjoying our pool. Our family, generally, prefers to keep the water temperature at a friendly eighty-eight degrees. It is my view that an abrupt change in temperature can make your heart stop. And I’m against that.
Anna and I are engaged in conversation, standing chest deep in what most people would call bathwater. Suddenly – Ouch! – I feel this intense stinging sensation on my back.
It hurts. I’m unhappy. Though I detect no bee or anything similar in the vicinity, I have the unmistakable feeling of having been insectually attacked.
Anna springs into action. She splashes to my side, quickly discovering a black pointy thing sticking out of my back. You know what’s next.
The pointy thing has to come out.
Taking charge, Anna dispatches Dr. M for tweezers. I have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “tweezers.” A narrowing of the eyes, a quivering of the lips, sweaty palms, even in water. Catching the signals, Anna responds with these words:
“Dad. It’s me.”
I know what she’s saying. We have a history in this department. And she’s always come through before.
“Dad. It’s me.”
Three words, ringing with reassurance. They immediately settle me down.
Till Dr. M returns with the tweezers.
I am now displaying every quiver, twitch, moan and shudder in my Arsenal of Wimpiness.
It’s going to hurt.
And there’s nowhere to hide.
Anna takes hold of the tweezers. Before “going in”, she reminds me again.
“Remember. It’s me.”
The operation runs smoothly. A yank and a yelp, and the spiny intruder is successfully removed.
My ordeal is over.
I tell Anna, “Thanks.”
I sense a tear in the corner of my eye.
It wasn’t from the sting.
Late Bulletin: Anna says it didn’t happen that way. Dr. M took out the stinger. Somehow, I remember it differently.
Though I did have my back turned.