In God’s Time – Part 2

1979
The blue neon sign outside the hospital glowed, with the yellow text, “George Washington Hospital” neatly framed inside. Beneath the sign stood four, rectangular, brick pillars, two flanking each side of the relief of the massive, red brick hospital’s main entrance.

Circling the base of the pillars and chattering like two small school children, Conchita and her father Eric giggled while a nurse, bundled in a black fishermen’s coat, stood looking on in the biting, winter cold.

“Look, Dad, I’m smoking,” nine year-old, Conchita, held her two fingers to her lips, inhaled and then exhaled cold air in white wisps of hot air.

Her father Eric laughed, took a pull from his cigarette, and blew smoke through his nose in short, blustery, bursts. “No, look, Chita, through the nose is best. No boy in his right mind would kiss you if he smelled smoke on your breath.”

“Da-ad.” Conchita admonished him, then immediately pictured herself kissing Robert Kramer, the dreamboat president of her sixth grade class. One day at school in the lunch line, a couple of boys had called her Big Bird, because she was so much taller than everyone else in her grade.

Robert had rushed to her defense. “They’re just jealous they aren’t taller. By the way,” he casually said. “I am, too.” He gazed into her eyes, his aqua, green eyes twinkling back at her.

Robert was almost a full head shorter than she, but that didn’t bother her. So, whenever she heard the Hall and Oates song, “Your Kiss Is On My List,” she imagined Robert Kramer grabbing her passionately and kissing her. His kiss was definitely number one on her list, and she’d play the forty-five with the song on it until her Mom came in her room to tell her to turn the music down.

He’d definitely need a stool though.

At 12 years-old Conchita was 5’4”. She’d gotten her height from her father, but her coloring was definitely her mother’s, darkened hair and eyes. “Your eyes are like the exciting nights in Sal Paulo, Brazil,” her father once said when he was in a good mood.

Now, Conchita watched her Dad finish his cigarette and stub it against one of the brick pillars.

Conchita shook from the bitter cold. “Dad, can we go back inside now?”

Eric pulled out another cigarette. “The Marlboro Man isn’t finished rounding up his cattle. In fact, it’s time for a cattle drive.” He stooped down, held his hands in front of him, pushing them forward, and ran after Conchita squealing in delight.

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