Here in the hospital, I met a man named Markus (Harkus, Markus! The dogs do barkus!’) Unusual spelling, so I commented on that, and he said his parents were from Switzerland, where this was the normal spelling. I said he must be from German-speaking Switzerland, because French-speaking would probably spell it Marquis. He paused and said, 'You've travelled a bit.' True.
A woman name Devyn. I told her the spelling I'd seen was 'Devon', both for boys' names and for the area in England, where I've been, (Devonshire, pronounced 'sheer' is the county around Devon proper, and is, among other things, Thomas Hardy country. A nurse here has a son named Devin.
A woman named Breanna—as soon as I saw her, I knew she had British, Teutonic or Scandinavian heritage: tall, blonde, freckled. Turned out she's Norwegian. I told her about the course I studied in Scandinavian History and the paper I wrote for it now being serialized. She told me about her family and her trip to Bergen. I've bought a book on learning Norsk--just haven't read it yet. I’ll have to ask if she likes 'Peer Gynt', Ibsen, Munch, 'the Scream'.
A woman named Heather. I recommended to her Richard Carpenter's piano piece by the same name, so she can can give the CD to DJ’s and can walk into a event with that beautiful music playing.
A woman named Leslie, who emphasized practical efforts: ‘two weeks from now, that knee can still buckle and you can still fall’. So don’t risk—‘what can you touch?’ ‘The side table, the…’ ‘You can touch the call button. What can you touch?’ ‘I can touch the call button and the—‘ ‘You can touch the call button. Period.’ I had previously met a Leslie who was classmate in grade 7 and told me that all of his social studies teachers had been bald. I asked, ‘You think Mr Morris is bald?’ He said, ‘Partially.’
Here, there's a physiotherapist as bald as an egg or stone or me. Obviously a long-lost relative, but I've not met him, only seen his photo. So near and yet so far--think of the anguish that is mine.