Verbosity21's Blog
Short Stories by Ralph Proenza– mostly Fiction, but some based on true events


[Based on true events]

She opened the little bathroom window that led into the Out-Patient Laboratory.  It was where patients put their samples to be tested for a Urinalysis.  The little shelf was empty and she stuck her head through, looking for me.  I looked up from the lab bench and was taken aback by the dazzling smile, the flawless tanned face, and luscious dark hair.  She was the lab clerk-typist, a year out of high school.  Less than three years later we would be walking down the aisle…

I remember how I met, and courted, my wife Kaley [not real name].  It was back in 1963 when I enrolled in a laboratory technology school (before I chose my final career), at a large metropolitan hospital in Florida.  Part of the training involved rotations through different hospital departments, including the Out-Patient Clinic.

I arrived at the Lab for my rotation the first day and spotted her.  She wore a white and black sundress which accentuated the rosy South Florida tan she had acquired the day before.  Her large bright light-brown eyes peered at me through glasses,  apparently unimpressed with my presence.  I thought she was a little thin but very cute nonetheless.

In the days that followed I stayed busy drawing blood samples from patients, and later running lab tests on them.  Talking to Kaley was difficult with this kind of workload so I decided to send her “flying” notes.  I would fold the note several times then launch it at her sling-shot-style with a rubber band.

For the longest time she thought me very childish for shooting paper wads at her.  Every time I asked her for a date by way of a flying note she would knit her eyebrows together, then throw it in the trash.  I had neglected to inform her there was writing in each of those paper projectiles!  One of her friends from the lab finally had to tell her to open up the paper wad.

Kaley finally warmed up to me, and to hide from the spinster who was the head of the Clinic Lab, she would go into the patient bathrooms and talk to me through the specimen window.

“We have to stop meeting like this,” she whispered.  “The old lady is starting to think I have a bladder problem!”

I recall some of the many little things I used to do that kept our romance interesting.  I would always try to do something out of the ordinary – something clever to keep her interested.

At one time I wrote a corny little love poem to Kaley and hermetically sealed it into a bacteriology media vial.  She had to use pliers to get into it to read the message.  Okay, not very romantic, but still unique.  Another time, using a micro-diamond tip pen, I scratched out a message on a microscope glass slide.   It was so tiny that she needed a microscope to read it – the message said “I Love You.”

I have fond memories of most of these antics.  I keep them safely stored, as if in a file, in that dubious repository we call the MIND.  From time to time I reach in, peruse the file, and pull out one to enjoy for the moment, hoping that in the imperfect filing system of the head, one precious memory does not slip through the cracks and crevices and be lost forever, for they are irreplaceable….specially those of Kaley!

 *    *    *   *   *




  1. Love the microscope slide idea. Very smooth indeed!

  2. This is still my favorite story! Just like I remember you at Jax.
    Still fun after all these years!

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