Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Monday, March 13

South Central Rain

Stockholm picks up as the fifth ring begins.

‘I waited for your call.’

‘I’m sorry,’ I apologize, ‘work ran late.’

There’s another moment silence.

‘I’m sorry about last night,’ I say, ‘also.’

‘Sorry for what?’ she asks.

‘Sorry for laughing,’ I say.

‘But not for finding it funny.’

‘No,’ I admit, ‘not for finding it funny.’

‘Then I’m not sure we have anything to talk about…’

I can hear the sounds of the restaurant kitchen in the background and hear the sound of her lighter: she’s in the back alley. And lighting a cigarette. I quickly run through seven different algorithms for lighting a cigarette after making that statement. Of the plausable terminal boxes, none involve trying to get off the phone. She’s only trying to play it cool; she wants me to move things forward.

‘There are always hipsters to make fun of,’ I offer, recalling a previous conversation we had.

‘You know, I’m starting to realize that it’s hating hipsters that makes someone a hipster,’ she says. This sounds like she’s challenging me, but she’s not. She’s moving the conversation forward. We talk and banter as she finishes her cigarette.

‘Can I take you out Sunday?’ I ask. ‘Someplace nice?’

‘Only if I choose the wine,’ she says. I can hear her smile through the phone.

‘Deal,’ I say, smiling.


Blogger dan writes:

I think I really need to hear this joke.


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