Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And still I smize.


My team was surprised when I named you my F.P.  that day.


This is what they said in unison as I narrowed my eyes defensively.

"Yes, him!" 

"Him?" my resident repeated for emphasis.

"Yes, him. Maaaan. . . .we're down like some kindergartners at nap time!" I threw my head back and laughed at my wittiness. Sure did.

They didn't get that joke. But that's okay because I did.

Nope. They didn't get it or you like I did. In fact, they looked around and shrugged their shoulders because of all the patients we were caring for, having you as my front runner in the F.P. race wasn't exactly what they would have predicted.

Not you.

You weren't a Grady elder (and everyone knows how much I love the Grady elders.)
You weren't super, duper, syrupy sweet.
Your bed wasn't flanked by a family of colorful characters.
You weren't even a wise-cracking, cantankerous grump (also paradoxically favorites of mine.)

Instead, you were mostly buried under your covers when they came to see you, requiring a knuckle to the sternum to even arouse you to be examined. Your treatment required intravenous antibiotics but your limited resources and unstable housing made setting up such a thing at home out of the question. So you hunkered down under a stack of covers where the only thing distinguishing you from a lump of laundry was the active IV line disappearing under that mound.

Certainly not F.P.-worthy at all.
The first day I, too, got "sleepy" you.  So groggy from street life that you refused to even sit all the way up for me to examine your lungs. A roll to the side revealing the bony Loch Ness monster-esque humps of your prominent vertebrae. Other than estimating your body fat composition to be less than 1%, that exam was limited and not very helpful.

On day two, you were hidden in covers once again. I tapped your shoulder gently and waited for you to awaken. Nada. Your body was warm and your breakfast tray had been eaten clean. These were reassuring signs of life.

"Hel-looooo. . . Sleeping Beau-teeeee!" My voice was sing-songy and my hand jostled your shoulder ever-so-softly.

Something about that "Sleeping Beauty" line amused you. You peeked one eye at me from under the cover. I could tell from that eye that the icicles were melting.


What you didn't know is that I've watched more of my share than I should even admit of America's Next Top Model and, see, that one peek-a-boo eye was doing what Miss Tyra Banks calls "smizing" or smiling with the eyes. You know. . .it's when someone's eyes smile without their whole face joining in.

Kind of like this:

This actually looks like more of a smolder, but it is what I got when I Google-imaged "Tyra Banks smizing."


So yeah. Smizing. That's what you were doing. That.

So I called you out on it. "You think it's funny that I called you 'Sleeping Beauty?'"

And you smized some more, this time showing the other eye, too.

"I see you smizing at me. Come on and wake up so I can see about you."

And something about me using Miss Tyra Banks' lingo made you laugh all the way out loud. It would be the first of many big, fluffy laughs I'd share with you during this hospitalization. You pulled back the blankets and told me that you were a "closet Top Model fan," to which I responded, "Shhhh. . . me, too." That made you laugh even louder. Next we agreed that Miss Tyra could be rather irritating and that the show took a turn for the worse four or five cycles ago. We both admitted that we'd stopped watching it back then.

But not before we learned of what it meant to "smize."


So every morning, we'd start by smizing at each other--you from under the covers and me with my hands over my face. Then I'd examine you and we'd crack some jokes and teach each other some things. Like the day I asked you why you always referred to Tyra Banks as "Miss Tyra Banks" instead of just "Tyra." You told me that this is what "the children" call divas like her and then you clarified that "children" were young, black same-gender-loving brothers like yourself. You also told me that "kids" could be used this way, too.

But mostly by "kids" and "children" only.

Oh yeah and others who got the "Miss" title from the children were:

Miss Beyonce Knowles
Miss Diana Ross (Yaaaaaassss!)
Miss Patti LaBelle
and of course
Miss Aretha Franklin, honey.

Yeah. So every day it got better and better. And our smizes got sillier and sillier. Broadway hands and all that.

It was awesome. And downright hilarious. Which was welcomed since you were stuck in the hospital for so many days.

All that smizing sealed your place as my F.P. Hands down.

"How'd you get so chummy with him?"

That's what one of the interns asked me after we left your room on rounds a few days later. He'd heard us ribbing each other and yucking it up so much that he wanted in on our secret.

So against my better judgement I told him all about Miss Tyra Banks and the "smize."

And, of course, he didn't get it. At all.

But that's okay, though. Because you did.

Man. I love this job.

Happy Wednesday. From Miss Kimberly Manning, honey!

Lesley M (my fellow closet-ANTM fan) . . . .this is especially for you. . . ha ha ha. . .


  1. I love this post. Smizing...classic Tyra.

  2. Replies
    1. I knew you could 'preciate a good smize, Sister Lister. Ha ha ha!

  3. Sending you lots of smizes, Dr. Manning! Thanks for writing, caring, teaching, smizing every day! You're the best! :)


    1. Biggest hug ever to you, sweet Lena. Thank you, as always, for your generosity with your words.

  4. You smize way better than Miss Tyra, just sayin..

    1. Don't you just love the ridiculousness of the smize? Good heavens!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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