On a day last week when the sky took on a strange hue of Cerulean Frost mixed with patches of Brandeis Blue that hung, ever so delicately, over hills of Bulgarian Rose and Caput Mortuum, I happened to be having a chat with my octogenarian friend…a retired oceanographer.
“I am full of vicissitudes today,” she said, as she slipped her walker to the side of the park bench. “My tintinnabulation has increased a thousandfold.”
“Well, I guess it’s all hands on the deck for you, my friend,” I said. “Just don’t tip the bucket.”
“Not only that,” she said with trepidation, “I am suffering once more with a bad case of Helminthophobia.”
“Now, that’s one for the books,” I replied. “Have you seen a specialist?”
“Oh, heavens, no,” she said stifling a sneeze with her forefinger beneath her proboscis. “He would have to examine me and I have had Gymnophobia for years.”
[I thought to myself that after my recent bout with Eurotophobia and the resulting Defecaloesiophobia, I totally understood.]
“Nothing like airing your dirty laundry,” I said. “I guess all bets are off.”
“If it wasn’t for my awful Eremophobia, I’d dump my old man,” she said with alacrity.
“Even though he’s as horny as a three-balled tomcat?” I said.
“Hey, if you ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies,” she said with a sniffle.
“Now that you mention it,” I said as I shifted on the bench, “last month I suffered greatly with a case of Pteronophobia and along with that came a flare-up of my Proctophobia.”
“Psaw,” she replied, “at the end of the day that was as plain as the nose on your face.”
I looked at the sun dipping below the roiling hilltops.
“It’s getting late,” I said, thinking of my constant Myctophobia. “Let me walk you home.”
“I’m all ears,” she said, “and I’m thirsty.”
“Good. Let’s go get a garlic milkshake,” I said.
“Oh, you youngsters are all talk and no action,” she said with a wink.
As we stood up (it took me 14 minutes to straighten my knees), a young couple took our places. They immediately began kissing like there was no tomorrow.
“Get a room,” I said, over my shoulder, as we walked away.