My daughter came down for a visit tonight. She's been having problems with vertigo, so my husband picked her up on his way home and I told her I'd drive her home.
It was getting kind of late, so we stopped off at a convenience store for a cup of coffee. I was stirring my usual gazillion creamers into my cup of caffeinated goodness when a woman not much older than me approached the coffee bar and struck up a cheerful conversation.
''I thought I was the only person who drank coffee this late!.' she chirped.
''Nope,'' says I. ''Love the stuff.''
''Oh me too, me too. Had to give it up though, doctor told me I had to. I got right sick on Mother's Day. ''
''Really? I'm sorry to hear it.''
''I don't think it was the coffee that did it, though. My intestines, they twisted all up! Couldn't pass a damn thing!''
Now, all my life I've noticed that people feel compelled to tell me the most unexpected and often outrageous things. An older friend once remarked that I've ''heard confessions that would make a crack whore blush for shame.''
Not knowing any crack whores, personally, I've never been able to prove her theory. But anyway, my daughter made a funny noise but the woman went on, still as chipper as she could be.
''Yeah, they tell me I could have died!! It's a bad thing, I tell ya. A woman I worked with had it too and they had to cut her leg off! She couldn't pass a thing neither and she got gangrene! I'm tellin' ya, if you can't go, better go to the doctor and make sure your intestines are ok. I coulda got gangrene!!''
People, it is damn hard to make a graceful exit from a random conversation about gangrenous intestinal torsions. I could think of only one thing to say.
''Good talking to you. I do hope everything comes out okay in the end.''
But I didn't say it. You could say... I didn't have the guts. But I wisished her well and she beamed and waved goodbye to us as we left.
I waited until we got in the car and then I told my daughter. She smacked me.