Wednesday, May 27, 2009

only in Maine

So I showed up for my MRI and was whisked away to an elegant little seating room. There we all sat, other patients reading about Tom Cruise in the latest issue of People magazine while I knit away on a grape-colored fingerless mitt.

They call my name and off I go, past an equally elegant dressing area ("All you have is that belt? Just take it off and bring it with you."), down another hallway, around a corner, and to...um, excuse me, the fire exit?

Yes.

We go through the fire exit and out into the back parking lot, under a blue tarp and over to a series of metal steps leading up into the side of a TRACTOR TRAILER.

That's right, my big fancy state-of-the-art high-tech MRI was administered in the back of a tractor trailer. As I said, only in Maine.

A while back I decided that if this knitting and writing business totally flops and I need to get a "real" job, I could get trained as an MRI machine technician. I love machines, I love technology, and I love the challenge of keeping people calm and grounded throughout what is, for many, a scary process.

And today's excursion has taught me another potential benefit of my new career: travel! You never know where that truck will be parked. One day, Kittery. The next, Fort Kent.

Maybe they'd even let me get a truck driver's license so I could drive the trailer myself?

Just a thought. It's always good to keep your options open.

And in totally unrelated news, today my friend Jenny Makofsky would've turned 40. We met my first week of college, walking back to our dorm together after we both tested out of Freshman English. We soon became fast friends. We worked in food service together, doing our best to liven up people's dull mornings with song, dance, pantomime, poetry and foreign language games. ("Just give me my fucking eggs," I believe one crew tream member said. Ahhh, good times, good times.) I visited her in London when she studied there, and she visited me when I was studying in Paris. Back at school, our dorm rooms were never more than a few doors apart. She could always drop by for one of my elicit toast parties (toasters were verboten - shhhhh) and I could always hear strains of the David Bowie records (yes, records) that she played over and over again.

Jenny was a force. Strong and powerful, Wagnerian on the outside; but tender and kind and vulnerable on the inside. I loved her dearly. When she laughed, the world filled with color and everything became good. And by some stroke of luck, I was able to make her laugh. Her laughing made ME laugh, so that by the end of an evening with Jen I would be sore and hoarse (and Jen would usually be needing a new inhaler). But I'd feel so happy.

In 2004, a traffic accident pulled Jen from this world and delivered her, well, I don't know where it delivered her. But I hope it was someplace good. A heaven styled in the manner of Barcelona but with a dusting of Oaxaca, a place where Jonathan Richman performs nightly, where her fountain pen never runs low on ink, and where she can always, always keep a close eye on her dear sister Serena. Happy 40th birthday, Jen. From my vast 7 days of experience on the subject, I can tell you that it'll be your best decade yet.

4 comments:

Serena said...

You captured the essence of Jenny beautifully and eloquently, Clarita. I am so grateful for your words and your memories which help add another dimension to who Jenny was. I never knew how you two met, but getting out of having to take a class seems like the perfect setting. I also never knew about the crew team member dissing you guys like that. The nerve! What a lovely friend you are to share all of this.

melissaknits said...

my tanning bed was also in a tractor trailer truck! They just built it a room a couple of years ago, finally.

rosi-r said...

only for you, will i start my day with tears. how fortunate are all who can call you "friend".
rosi

Lanea said...

I'd like to think she welcomed our dear Mike Dobbs when he left this mortal coil. They'd have gotten along well--I just know it.