Sunday, March 9, 2014


Reoxygenation. That's your word. In medical parlance, it's called "detoxification" - it's what we do to relieve ourselves of life's toxicities and stresses. For example, medical students party hard to detoxify after a major exam. But as I grew older, detoxification has evolved into something entirely different from parties. For me, it's staying by the beach, or drinking beer on a quiet evening with soothing music playing, or getting lost in some mountain trail by a river. And most recently, detoxification, or reoxygenation as you would like to call it, means spending time with you.

We both have been extremely busy these days. And though I would have really wanted to spend time with you, our workloads have been very prohibitive. I didn't call you at all, because I didn't want to be a bother, but I have been fervently praying for Fate to intervene. In a small city of half a million people, perhaps it wasn't too much to ask for our paths to randomly cross. This morning, Fate was kind.

Today, we met. It must have been random, or maybe not. You knew I have breakfast in that diner every Sunday morning. And that has always been our favorite breakfast place. You must have known all along that I would be there. Perhaps you were wishing I would be there. Maybe, maybe not. But I must admit I was hoping you'd have breakfast in the same place too. Praying, in fact. I almost lost all hope of seeing you and was about to leave when you came.

I was checking the news on-line and when I looked up, you were outside. You smiled that big shy smile of yours when you saw me. You have so much work to do, you said. We talked about so many things, planned future journeys and business ventures, talked about national issues and politics, laughed a lot about life and the jokes it plays on us. You have always been the smartest person I know. People tell me I'm a smart one. They should meet you, I say.

After you had your breakfast you said you would have to get some reports done. I told you I would leave you so you can work. You asked me to stay. Just stay. You can read while I work, you said. And so we just sat there for some time, with you working on your computer and me reading my book. No words said. Just a strange, restful, soothing quiet. At 9am, I said that I had to start seeing my patients. And you said that you have a meeting to attend to. And we parted ways. Just like that.

I walked out of the diner feeling refreshed. That quiet time with you was a draft of fresh air. I hope I gave you a fresh supply of oxygen too. It will be another busy week ahead. This time, I am no longer worried about it. You had me refreshed and recharged. Reoxygenated, you would say. I am now looking forward to a challenging week. I hope, no, I know, that you are too.

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