Anything can happen in small towns. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s true, as long it makes good village gossip! Like the time they had my husband all but dead and buried. Or at best, critically ill.
Our daughter and family, who still lived here then, had gone out with some friends visiting from the north. A slice of pizza and peaceful stroll in the cool evening. Until one of the visitors started having chest pains. What to do? Why go to the guardia medica (urgent care), of course!
For the uninitiated, it behooves us to explain that urgent care in small towns here is in no way a clinic. It’s more like a storeroom with a desk and examining table off to one side. Little equipment or medicine, but you will find a doctor. Who, at least from our experience, prefers telling patients to see their family physician, or send them to the emergency room. But this time, the doctor decided they needed an ambulance!
It doesn’t take much to cause excitement in our village. Sirens! An Ambulance!
Doors flung wide, people rushed out to see the happenings. Little old women peered down the street, hanging dangerously out of windows. So what if they risked serious injury? As long as they learned the latest news!
No one seemed to see our friend lying there on the stretcher. Although a few must have noticed it was a man. But they did, it seems, see our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren gathered around the ambulance. And no sign of us!
So they put two and two together. It was, after all, perfectly logical. They’d taken Mario to the hospital!
And, as would happen, we were away most of that summer. Which only added more fuel to the fire! He’d had a heart attack, and was still in the hospital! All summer long people asked our daughter, “How’s your Papà? Tell him Ciao for me.”
No matter how hard she tried to convince folks that Papà was OK. The village gossip was stronger!
And even long after summer, we could hardly walk the streets without well-wishers coming our way. “So glad you’re better! You were sure in the hospital a long time.” Or if I ventured out alone… “How’s your husband, Signora? I was so sorry so hear he was ill.” I continually reassured them that Mario was not only fine, but had never been ill at all! But they just looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.
But what did I know? They knew! They’d heard the village gossip!
[Image: Stock Snap, Pixabay.com]