Back from a glorious trip of hiking and sun — but a subject for another blogpost, perhaps. Now I am back to my home and thankful for small pleasures such as a comfy bed and decent coffee. And I am back getting my exercise at the gym, rather than on exotic far-flung mountains.
So, it was in the hot tub of the gym this morning that I encountered Madonna Joanna. I have no idea what her real name is. I didn’t dare exchange a word with her for fear that I would pop the evanescent bubble of her beatific smile. She looked like she was barely suppressing a wonderful secret — like, say, she had just received a proposal of marriage. If I had talked with her, I might have found out that she was, in fact, having a bad day. I am calling her “Joanna” because of the lyric in the old Henry Mancini song, “Joanna’s smile lights up the sky for miles.”
I kept sneaking looks at her, and the beatific smile hardly wavered. I am jealous. When called upon to look pleasant (“Say Cheese!”), I have typically grimaced — as my third-grade school pictures will attest. Now that I have Parkinson’s, I apparently have the “Parkinson’s mask”, caused by a low blink rate. And my teeth and jaw are still a bit jagged after falling on them a year ago. So encountering Madonna Joanna is a reminder that I should consciously work on my smile. I too have a wonderful secret — life is good.