Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Monday, February 20

Boy’s Don’t Cry

Friday afternoon Chicago calls and leaves a message saying his sister has come into town and he has to cancel for tomorrow.

When I get to the bar that night, it’s pretty empty—or rather, completely empty except for a drag queen, a bartender, and the local coke dealer playing darts in the back. I order a Budweiser and make small talk with the drag queen.

‘Sure is coming down out there,’ I say, watching the rain.

‘It sure is,’ she says. ‘You can tell its spring because it’s raining so hard.’

I pause, then say, ‘but, it’s not spring: It’s the middle of July.’

‘Then why the hell’s it raining so hard?’ she says, pursing her lips, flipping her hair up, and turning away from me.

I didn’t, but I could have, think about how there was almost exactly a month until my birthday. I could have, but didn’t, think about what that month would hold for me. I could have also wondered what the next eight months would hold for me. If things continued the trajectory of the previous eight days, I’d be named Surgeon General or develop a successful cancer vaccine. I could have wondered that, but I didn’t.

It certainly didn’t occur to me at the time that in November I would start a story that was set into motion by the events of this week, that I would spend two months documenting a single day, and that by mid-February I would still be explaining what transpired the week of July 17th, 2005.

I was simply enjoying the summer. Enjoying the company of these people. Even enjoying the rain shower.

I wait until the rain lets up and then leave the bar alone, the wind blowing the remnants of the shower on my face and tee, its wetness darkening small circles of cloth on my chest and sleeve. I get in my car and listen to John Vanderslice’s Time Travel is Lonely, as I drive into the night, on my way back home.


Blogger jamesdamian writes:

Beautiful post.


Blogger Spider writes:

and you are still holing my attention...


Blogger Erik writes:

I'm glad for that, I am trying very hard to hole everyones attention.


Blogger Spider writes:

but if ANYONE could hole everyone's attention I am sure you could Erik!


Anonymous canadiangirl writes:

I always wait with anticipation for your next post. I am captivated by your story telling!


Blogger Damon writes:

"I didn’t, but I could have, think about how..."

This sets off grammatical red flags for me. Not to be a grammar-slammer (I think I just coined that), but wouldn't it be:

"I didn't, but I could have thought about how..."

Or possibly in the parenthetical:

"I didn't, (but I could have) think about how..."

I don't know for sure myself, just positing the notion.


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