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A Tribute to YOU John!

This essay was written for John Potocki and was recorded at WSCL radio in Salisbury to be broadcasted on the air.

"Pai
n Spray" by Diane Saienni Albanese

My head was hung low and I felt so tired as if I had been put through the ringer of an old fashioned washing tub. My knee was throbbing from standing on it all day in a classroom in front of students, a painful remnant of a roller skating accident that fractured my knee cap. I was worn out and grateful to be going to get my haircut. My favorite stylist John always lifted my spirits.

His shop, Salon Milton, is full of the bustle of everyday small town life. He sells books from local authors, raffle tickets for the next big town event and even wields the scissors and blow dryer with deft skill. John is a phenomenon who is an essential part of my life and a pillar of the community of Milton. His capacity to enrich and enhance his clients is legendary. When I am in his chair, I get good advice on the hottest books, styles, food and gossip. No wonder people walk in and out of the shop all the time just to keep current and to connect.

When I opened the door of the shop on that day John immediately sensed that I was down. He offered me tea, some licorice and a good ear. I told him about my injuries, my recent physical and emotional trauma and he listened to me with skillful understanding. Next thing I know he disappeared into a back room and emerged with a little tiny white spray bottle in his hand. He told me that this is what I needed and there would be no charge. It was a product I could not live without: a bottle of pain spray.

He read me the label: PAIN SPRAY: A miracle in every bottle! Fast temporary relief! Arthritis, knee pain, backache, shoulder pain, stiff joints, fibromyalgia, pinched nerves. Natural menthol herbal formula.

My skeptic emerged but I gratefully accepted the little white bottle. Imagine, a little spray here, a little spray there and the pain would go away. Could this be the answer to my broken heart, or my worn-out spirit? If I could spray this onto my brain would I dull the painful memories or relieve the sleepless nights? If I used the spray on my heart would I get over dashed dreams and hurtful feelings? What if I sprayed my entire body, could I then emerge as a whole, transformed person even if only temporarily? I hoped. John gave me that hope. Hope in a bottle of Pain Spray. 3-23-2009


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