Leave Those Oranges Alone!

“I never want to see another crate of oranges as long as I live!” Hurt Back Woman sighs longly, shifting her heft in the dark corner of Hilltopia’s sauna.

Laughing, PP watches in concern. Back pain is nothing to mess around with. She knows this from Owen Hill’s odious back ailment. She’ll never forget the time they brought the cat to the vet and Owen was in so much back pain that he just had to lie down on the cold linoleum of the waiting room floor and writhe and cry.

That was a bad day.

This day, though No More Orange Crate Woman seems to be in pain, she was in the pool earlier with the Rusty Hinges, so she could move. The water’s restorative powers doing their magic.

“I was visiting my sister in law, she lives in Merced and she was loading crates of oranges into the truck and I just lifted one and handed it to her, and yup, there goes my back.” She sighs. “This happens every 3 years or so. I just have to be careful.”

Nodding, PP offers, “Yeah, I know what you mean. We reach a certain age and then we really have to watch what we do. Things that we used to do even a few years ago……well…we just can’t anymore."

Somehow this discussion is appropriate today since it’s her birthday. The general decrepitude of middle age, while on the one hand is slow, is, on the other hand, lightning fast. It seems like only a few years ago that she could swim 50 yards in less than a minute. Now, even with her fins, if she makes it with 5 seconds to spare, she’s doing good.

She doesn’t tell Orange Crate Woman all of this though. Just nods and offers a sympathetic response: “Like with my swimming, I have to use the fins a lot cuz of my neck pain.”

OCW grunts as she shifts her heft. “I did this once.... let’s see....it was when I was 40 that was 25 years ago? (PP marvels at this tidbit—she’s 65?! Wow! She doesn’t look that old. How old does she look? Like 45? It’s so weird. Age. Appearance. Body Aches and pains and limitations.)

“So, I was due for another bout of it.” She laughs, ruefully. “It’s been 3 weeks. I just have to take it easy. It’ll heal. I haven’t been to my chiropractor. Though he would say to just lay down on the floor with a towel rolled up under your head.” She rolls her towel to show PP. Then chuckles. “He said if he told all his patients this trick he’d be outta business.”

“But he told you,” PP smiles.
“Yeah, he did. So I just gotta remember to follow-up and do it. But I tell you, I’m never gonna look at oranges the same way again.
“That makes perfect sense,” PP agrees, thinking how at least she has a reason for her back pain. An Orange Reason no less.

Getting up, PP feels a bit woozy as she always does when she sits too long in the sauna (something she tends to do when chatting with someone to gather a story).

“May you heal quickly,” she calls out to Anti Orange Woman before shutting the door.
“Oh, my!” the tone of her voice is genuinely touched. “Thank you!”


Anonymous said…
You're a speedy swimmer! Cute tortie picture! Sweet compassionate story. Thanks for writing so I can start my day the pool purrs way!

Love you,

Anonymous said…
See the picture of the Girls wrapping Oranges, reminded me of when we Lived in Etiwanda. There was a packing house down the tracks from where we lived and sometimes we kids would go in and watch the women pack oranges. They were Mexican and could not speak English. They would sometimes give us an Orange. This was during the War.
Cj said…
Hi Laurie,

I am always so happy to get your sweet and supportive comments--they keep me writing!

And Ruthie, wow! What a cool memory. I love it that you sometimes got an Orange Gift! Thanks for sharing this. Loved this picture--many many stories here, I'm sure!

Thanks for reading!

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