I could not believe he would say such a mean thing knowing absolutely nothing about what had transpired or was involved in my hospitalization, but I gathered he had been jealous of the reactions in the theater department. He was after all dying of the real thing. I probably could not have forgiven him as soon as I did if I had not heard that he did die two or three years later, just as he predicted he would, while I am still alive at the age of 80. He was obviously a good deal sicker than I was.
But I did walk away from him like the walking wounded. After he said that I did not think there was any use trying to see anybody else in the theater department. Marilyn, who I called, said that Dr. Lees had announced that he would retire due to health problems at the end of the year, I figured so people could enjoy as much as possible the final days of his notable reign over the theater department as a famous Shakespearean director.
She also said that June, the young Mormon theater major, had stepped in at very short notice, memorized, and performed my role as the young Amish girl in the play on the road. I thought she would have been a perfect second choice. Marilyn asked me very little about my hospitalization. She like others was very cautious about even referring to it. I had resumed relations with her by mail, as well as with Sharon and even Laurence. He and I exchanged a couple of more letters as I was curious as to how he would react, but he was so guarded I soon ceased to wonder.
The notable geniuses I had met at the University slowly left my life one by one, Laurence and finally Sharon. Marilyn and I continued to correspond for several years, too, until she did not answer one of my letters. And that was the end of that friendship although I continued to have fond memories of both Marilyn and Sharon for the kindnesses they had shown me through out my years at the University, and even after, until it was obvious we were leading such different lives, letters became meaningless.
I went down to the meeting at the Salt Lake County Hospital with some trepidation, but Dr. Davis greeted me with real concern about how I was recovering. He said that his year of Internship was drawing to a close and he had applied to a California hospital for his residency. He would be leaving Salt Lake soon.
When I went to leave he held out his arms to me for a hug and the hug turned into a kiss that was very passionate but limited. We really were saying good-bye by mutual consent.
He accompanied me to the street where I intended to call a taxi when he asked me how far away I lived, could we walk there? I said it was about twenty blocks, but yes, I thought I could handle that. We started walking through snow. I was thinking I am always going to remember this, when Dr. Davis surprised me again.
When we were just about three blocks from Grandpa Wilson's where I was staying, he stopped me and picked me up in his arms and carried me the rest of the way. I do not think a man had ever made a gesture to me that was so gratuitously tender. I thought he would be a great doctor. He was a healer by instinct.
When we reached Grandpa's place, he set me down and watched me as I waved good-bye and turned away from him to go into the house.
It seemed that life was about a lot of new beginnings and inevitable endings of many relationships.
Sister Margie agreed to go with Pole and me before she had to return to the university after the holidays, and as we traveled through Idaho which was hauntingly beautiful at that time of the year, covered with snow, I developed an increasingly euphoric feeling that my adult life was now about to begin, more real than it had ever been before. Because I was in charge at last.