Aileen had a date in her early 50s that neither she, nor the guy will ever forget. They met online. He suggested a hike out to the Black Diamond Mines in Antioch. She agreed, although she wasn’t much of a hiker.
During the hike and while climbing in and out of the mine tunnels, Aileen felt her period coming on. She’d get it some months and not other months. She was entering menopause and could no longer predict if and when she’d get one. The clockwork twenty-eight cycle of the past was history.
By the time they got back to Fred’s car, she was spotting though her clothing.
By the time they got to Fred’s house nearby, she was in the leaking mode and asked to use his bathroom.
“Don’t worry,” Fred said. “I’ve been married. I know about these things.”
But even Aileen didn’t know about a period like this. It was a gusher, nothing like she’d ever had before. Aileen’s single spare tampon in her fanny pack was not enough to hold back the red seas. She sat there wondering what to do when Fred knocked on the bathroom door.
“Are you coming out?” he asked.
“I don’t think so,” Aileen said. “I wasn’t prepared for this.”
“Take anything you need,” Fred said through the door.
Aileen pulled the white bath towel off the towel bar and wrapped it around herself. She opened up the door, and Fred didn’t bat an eyelash.
“I’ll take you home,” he said.
Fred laid down another towel on his car seat and waited for her to climb in.
Aileen apologized repeatedly, and Fred drove a little too fast. When they got to her place, Aileen got out of the car, apologized again, and then looked down at the guy’s towel wrapped around her waist.
“I can wash this and get it back to you,” she said.
“Just keep it,” Fred said.
He drove away and never called again.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Aileen could’ve driven herself to the trail head, and she could’ve kept her trunk filled with towels for such an unexpected event. But it was unexpected, so in reality, she could not have done that. Everything had to turn out the way it did.