Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #223
… a small shrine to Mary Mother of God and her son Jesus. Votive candles are apparently lit around the clock, two of which burn devotedly now…
Camille Diaz does not push for more, preferring to keep him talking. “You don’t sound like a Northeasterner Alpha, so where are you from?”
“Florida…Tallahassee to be exact, I’m on staff at Florida A & M Hospital.” He senses a trend, so he guesses the next question, “I was comin’ back from a meetin’ in Boston, but I’m here in Atlantic City to see my brother. He told me to find him on Melrose Avenue – you see what I found instead.”
As is the diner pot roast warm, the company is satisfying. An hour passes, then another when the waitress brings them back to reality, “We close at nine, you two. Here’s your bill.”
Nine o’clock? Daylight had long since faded, leaving A.O. wondering privately if he could still get a room. Camille has already decided to offer, “I would be offended if you didn’t stay at my apartment. It’s not big, but it’s cozy… good heat.”
“I,” he hesitates, thinking of his young wife, who has been absent from any of their discussion; not wearing a wedding ring for purposes of sterility, “… suspose that would be the prudent thing to do, seein’ the lateness of the hour.”
So, around a couple more corners and down another block, they arrive at a brick building with twenty mail boxes. She checks the one labeled 3D, extracts a Sears catalogue and a letter and they are off to the third floor. She keys the lock and they enter the three roomed apartment; a kitchen/living room combination and a bedroom and a bathroom, the bedroom having floor length red fringe for a door. It is very well kept, populated by largely antique furniture and a small shrine to Mary Mother of God and her son Jesus. Votive candles are apparently lit around the clock, two of which burn devotedly now. It is a well meaning gesture, if not a bona fide fire hazard.
“You have a very nice place, Camille. It’s very comfortin’ to be in the company of another believer.”
The woman is busily preparing for an overnight guest, amassing a set of bedding to convert her sofa, after applying her stove’s flame to a teapot and turning on her radio, which emits a wealth of Latin melodies. She disappears into her bedroom, reentering in loungewear, with a robe draped over her arm, handing it to her wayfaring boarder.
“You need to get out of that suit, Alpha. I started a bath for you – how do you like your tea?”
“Hot, maybe if you have some lemon.” He is getting the royal treatment. And to think he had planned on staying with his brother, rubbing elbows with hookers and probably roaches.