“Yes,” Mr. Wonderful said stowing the empty suitcases in the closet.
“I loved seeing the sights.”
“Eating great meals.”
“And laughing with my awesome family and friends.”
“Yes,” he nodded. “…So, let’s get working on the house again.”
“Thanks,” I said receiving a bundle of advertisements with my bandaged finger.
“You still live here?”
“Ha-ha! We were just gone for a while taking a fabulous vacation to Wine Country, San Francisco and the National Park—”
“What happened to your finger?”
I raised the bandaged digit and shrugged. “I sliced into it while cooking.”
“Wow,” he said with eyes growing large. “Did you cut it off?”
Here I was visibly blooming with beautiful vacation stories and all he wanted to do was talk about my bloody finger.
“I still have it,” I said waving him off with my unbandaged hand.
No, I thought, not all people wanted to hear bad news, just the strangers in our life.
“Thanks for asking, Norma,” I said with a wave. “Actually, where haven’t we been? We went to delicious Napa and Sonoma Counties, beautiful Sequoia National Park and fun San Francisco where we saw my—
“It looks serious.”
“Did you hit the bone? Did you lose the tip?” she said peering at my digit with a laser-like gaze as if her vision alone could heal it—or cut it off. “Was there a lot of blood?”
Why did this 85 year-old woman get excited by bloody, chopped body parts? I’m friendly with Norma, so why didn’t she want to know about my very happy trip rather that the shock value of did I decapitate my finger?
“I’m alive and kicking, Harold!” I beamed at the neighbor I saw the most. If anyone cared about my trip, it would be him. How many hours of conversation had we shared from our respective driveways, over the fence and in his wood-paneled family room? You could count them in weeks. No, months! Years, I say! “So Harold, we drove up to San Francisco and went on a boat docked in the bay—”
“Did you sail around?”
Harold was asking me questions about the content of my trip! How thrilling! He cared more about me than my chopped finger! Hooray!
“No, we had drinks and then slept on the boat. The next morning we woke up to the sound of lapping water and barking sea lions. It was magnificent!”
“You didn’t sail the bay?”
“I guess you couldn’t sail anything with a chopped-off finger.” He peered at me through his eyeglasses, which magnified his eyes ten fold. “So how did you cut it off? Was there a lot of blood? Did you hit the bone? Go to the hospital? Call 911—”