913 Life’s A Gas! 06-09-2020

It was a grand pool!

Twelve feet deep under the diving boards.
One hundred feet wide at the shallow end.
Sort’a cool
to be nineteen,
and “the-guy-in-charge”.
Head life guard,
maintainer of its crystal clear water
at PH 7.5—-
Chlorine at 1.0—
Fun in the sun!
Dragging out the occasional fool
who dove into the deep end
unable to swim a stroke…

One night
the chlorinators-corroded-copper-pipes
broke.
Chlorine gas seeped across the ground.
They smelled it all around,
in the hotel,
the cabins,
the cafe.

So,
like doughboys at the Marne,
we grabbed our Great War gas masks,
waded in to do battle.
Shut down the system!
Closed off the tanks!
Came out puking blood-dots and lung-bits.

We were rushed off
to the nearby E.R.
where the local doctor,
( A Doctor Brannon,
I remember,)
told Mr. Malson,
(head of maintenance)
“You’re to old to worry, Hubert Ray!
You’ll be dead before
the scaring manifests itself
to harm your lungs enough to matter!”

Then,
pointing his finger at my ribs,
he said,
“You,
however,
young fella’
have about fifty years
before you pay the bill
for your idiotic heroism!”

We all had a chuckle then,
at my expense.

I thought,
“Wow!
Such a long way off!
Not to worry!
I’ll probably be dead
long before then!”

Well…

I’m 72, now.
Short of breath, now.
Coughing more, now.
Tuesday,
they discovered
a mass-in-my-upper-right-lung.
Benign?
Malignant?

“TO BE DETERMINED”.

Knowing what I know
now,
then,
would I still charge
into that little room
with all the bubbles and gizmos?

Sure!
I was 19!
Invincibility!
Immortality!
Barely burdens in that back-pack
we lug into our tomb.

About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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