“He had the kind of real deep tan that rich people spend ages trying to achieve with expensive holidays and bits of tinfoil, when really all you need to do to obtain one is work your arse off in the open air every day.” Eskarina Smith’s description of Amschat B’hal Zoon in Equal Rites
I have a terrible chest cold, which is a bit of a bitch because I also have asthma. If I don’t take care of myself, the damn thing can trigger and asthma attack. I went for a respiratory treatment yesterday, and my doctor ordered chest X-rays because I sounded like ghoul gargling something thick and sticky.
The X-ray technician was helping me with the protection apron (that thing they use to cover the stomach area just in case a woman is pregnant and doesn’t know it). She had to assist me because I have a messed up rotator cuff that limits the full circular motion of my right shoulder. So she was standing behind me, adjusting the gadget, and said “You have a really nice back. I wish I had muscles.”
I said, “Um… uh… thanks. Thanks you,” and coughed a few times.
To which she added. “I’ve always wanted a nice back, but I don’t have time to go to the gym to lift weights. I go to school and I work. It’s a hard life, you know?”
I was going to tell her, Actually I don’t lift any weights. Those back muscles are the result of carrying water jogs from a water well when I was younger, and then carrying my toolbox or my pack and weapon when I was in the Marine Corps. But that thought never morphed into words; I remembered Esk’s description of Amschat B’hal Zoon in Equal Rites and was overtaking by a fit of coughs and laughter.