The patient had learned how to put on his own socks and shoes, dress himself nicely and navigate well with a cane this past week. He granted Nurse Ratched leave to visit with her girl friend in Greenwich Village. Swiftly and efficiently with only a backpack for luggage, she caught the early Friday mornin’ Tripper bus, taking a front row seat that provided a first hand view of the road. She did’t want to miss a thing! The weather was crisp and bright with the sun bouncing among billowy clouds all the way up Interstate 95 after leaving Arlington, winding through Washington DC’s northwest quadrant, and picking up additional passengers in Bethesda.
NYC was decked for the holidays with sounds, people, and an overwhelming number of options. Nurse Ratched was thrilled as she and her friend picked carefully, for they only had two days — long walks in quiet conversation along the avenues; visits to the Guggenheim, Met, and Brooklyn Museum; and a bus ride down 5th Avenue to immerse themselves in holiday lights. This was all topped off with French and American bistros for lunches and local gourmet shopping for dinners at home.
As always, Nurse Ratched found the city mind expanding, energizing her through and through. They viewed paintings by Agnes Martin, a minimalist artist; 20th century black experience artist, Kerry James Marshall; sensual painting, photo and video artist Marilyn Minter, and Valentin de Boulongne, who went beyond Caravaggio with live model painting.
Martin’s paintings of patterned stripes in pastels using string and not tape, were surprisingly calming through their exactness and consistency ; Marshall’s disturbed with stark black figures in the vacuum of a white America, yet conveyed domestic life, romance and caring; Minter’s work was clearly a pretty dirty critical commentary on women, sex and fashion, and Valentin’s presented stop action views in rich, muted tones that put our girls in the middle of a story they wanted to see through to the end.
After time indoors, Nurse Ratched and her friend turned outward to the holiday city. As the M4 bus oozed past the glowing glass Apple store and the now infamous Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, multitudes of police kept traffic moving surprising well considering it was Friday rush hour. Tourists on the sidewalks around Rockefeller Center packed every square foot, a perfect setup for a mash pit experience as they pushed and stretched to get close to the famous tree above the ice rink. It was breath taking as always.
Their last stop on Saturday late afternoon was a step back into the 19th century at the Beekman Hotel off Nassau Street for wine, apple tart and tea.
On Sunday, Nurse Ratched returned to her patient. He had missed her. She was ready to be part of his life once again. The short bit of distance and time repaired all broken connections. Life is good once again.