“Survival was once the only gauge of success in managing serious burn cases. Today, however, the overriding objective of burn care has become reintegration of the patient into the home and community. This goal has extended the traditional role of the burn care team beyond acute wound closure.
Three broad aspects are involved in this effort: rehabilitation, reconstruction, and reintegration. The importance of early and active focus on long-term rehabilitation goals cannot be overemphasized.”—Robert L Sheridan, “Burn Rehabilitation”
Tall, a bit of self deprecating humor, excellent beard. I’ll swipe right.
“Boom! You’re a match.”
Now to send a message. The first message is always a struggle, a balance between “I’m interested in you.” and “I’m not a crazy person.” with an open ended question thrown in. This time I figure out what I want to say relatively quickly. “Tall, awkward, and bearded sounds great. What kind of live music do you like?” And just like that, my message wings out into the nowhere that is the Internet. I’m not expecting a reply, but I smile later that night when one actually comes.
Over the course of a few days, I exchange more messages with Tall, Awkward, and Bearded. I smile more. I’m disappointed, just a little, when a message comes through and it’s not from him.
“How long where you in the Army? Why’d you decide to join up? …What are you going to school for? Oh, that’s a really well thought out major…I really like that you want to teach high school or coach. I taught high school for a long time…Since you’re making plans for tonight, I’m free later if you’d like to go out for coffee or drinks…Great! See you then.”
I’m glad I just happened to be dress super cute and already have a full face of make up on. There isn’t much time. I touch up my eye makeup. My eyes are my best feature, I think. They’re a much more stunning shade of blue with my makeup this way. The butterflies in my stomach roil.
He is tall, so incredibly tall, and handsome. We sit at a high top at the bar. I joke, “Now we’re both tall.” He laughs. He orders a double gin and tonic. I get a cocktail. He talks to me about his friends, his favorite sports, his cat, his distant past. I’m an appreciative audience, adding in comments and questions to keep the conversation flowing. He orders another gin and tonic, a single this time.
I’m having a wonderful time, throughly entertained by his well spoken words. He tells me a story about the rather terrible tattoo on his arm, how he makes up an elaborate backstory to tell people at bars. I don’t believe anyone would fall for it. He assures me they do. We both order another drink.
We’ve been here for three hours. The bar is closing. He pays the whole tab, refusing my offer to pitch in, and walks me to my car. I find myself holding his hand, then engulfed in his hug. It’s magical. He kisses my hair. I kiss his lips. It has been years, maybe a decade, since something so amorous has touched me. The effect is heady.
I’m home and euphoric. I send him a message, thanking him for a good time, and give him my phone number. He laments not asking me to join him and his friend at another bar when he had the chance. I assure him I would have come. I am so happy when I fall asleep.