Act III Episode 3 – Lynda’s True Confessions
Lynda VanDevanter finished her 3am – 11 am shift at the Emergency Room of Shore Memorial Hospital and even though she had her bathing suit on under her uniform, she broke routine and went home – back to her room at Mrs. Nick’s Rooming House on Wesley Avenue.
Running up the steps with the spindle railing, the home owner Mrs. Nick stopped her on the porch where she was playing bridge with three other ladies, and introduced her to them.
“This is Mrs. Waldman, the mayor’s wife,” she said, “and this is Mrs. Rundgren and Mrs. Croce,” who was Jim’s aunt who lived in Ocean City, but didn’t know her nephew was in town.
Lynda said hello to them all, and nodded when Mrs. Nicks told her that there were three young men in the room next to her, which made Linda roll her eyes as she continued on up the steps, knowing that three guys will be hogging the bathroom the occupants of four rooms shared.
And sure enough, as she got to the top of the stairs a young man, Joe Walsh came out of the bathroom and said hello and introduced himself.
“My band the Nomads are auditioning at Tony Marts tonight, if you can come by and cheer us on,” Joe said, and Lynda just replied with a smile as she went into her room to get some things she needed to take to the beach.
Once she got down at the beach Lynda laid down on the blanket the nurses had set out earlier, next to her boyfriend “JJ,” who was lying there sound asleep, a hard night at the Dunes, so the radio was off as Lynda began talking to the mayor’s daughters on the next blanket over.
When the other two nurses came back from a dip in the breakers, Lynda told them and the sisters what happened at the emergency room early that morning, right after she got there shortly after three. A really embarrassed guy came in with his wife’s wedding ring on his penis, which had swollen up so the ring wouldn’t come off. After trying every lubricant available, Lynda came up with a solution, went down in the basement and came back with a janitor and a giant pair of wire cutters, saying aloud, so the patient could hear, “We’ll cut if off.”
And after a brief scare, the patient realized she meant cut the ring, and that’s what they did, an ingenius act that earned Lynda the reputation as being the resident penis specialist. And although the patient was a well known Ocean City celebrity, she couldn’t divulge the name because of the patient’s privacy, and she respected that.
As the four girls all laughed at that, Lynda said she has two more confessions to make.
When things quieted down, the radio off, Lynda acknowledged she was a virgin, and being a good Catholic girl, she was proud of it, but was beginning to doubt her faith as she was in love with “JJ” and the summer was winding to a fast close, and “JJ” was being recalled early, she was thinking about “doing it,” if “JJ” wanted to.
That got the girls laughing softly again, so as not to wake “JJ,” and they only stopped when Lynda interrupted, saying, “And my final confession,” she waited until everyone was silent, “I enlisted as an Army nurse and volunteered for Vietnam.”
“No!” said “JJ” sitting up, shaking the towel off his face, as he was apparently awake and listening the whole time. “No, don’t go to Vietnam,” he said as visible horror shown on his face.
Even though he spent one of his 21 years in Vietnam “JJ” didn’t talk about it much, and when asked he only replied, “It sucked.”
Lynda then began reciting some of President Kennedy’s inaugural address, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty....." but “JJ” cut her off.
Then all went quiet on the 9th Street beach as Lynda put her head down on “JJ’ stomach and put a beach towel over her head and fell fast asleep, exhausted from a long night at the Emergency Room and true confessions on the beach, and dreamed.