Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Thursday, October 26

Part two of three: Black Magic Woman

Two weeks ago a woman swung by my new office, let’s call her Christy McVie. Christy’s been with the hospital for twenty years and has a reputation for making things happen. She said, ‘you really need something for these walls.’ So I told her about the paintings and how the librarians were refusing to check them out to me. ‘I’ll have a meeting with them and see what I can do.’

I thought she was just being nice, not really meaning it. But a few days later, I was in her office helping a resident with something and she told me she’d set up the meeting.

‘How are you going to get those paintings?’ I asked, ‘I tried for weeks and couldn’t get anywhere.’

‘I know a few people who can help. I’m meeting with the library director,’ she said, ‘and I’ll get them by being charming.’

We both laughed when she said this, then there was a beat and she said, ‘It’s the same way I’m going to get a date with you.’

In the next tenth of a second a lot of things went through my mind. Not the least of which was: Is she joking? I thought she was married. It never dawned on me to think about whom she would want to date, let alone if I might be on that list.

So two-tenths of a second later, I opted for the option where she was joking and I laughed really loudly, opening the door and heading back to my office. Once there, I became quite devote in the belief that she was joking.

Then I got the email.

‘I had my meeting with the director. She needs to meet briefly with the foundation director to show him the paintings. They will need to tag the frames so that they will be returned to the library in June, but you should have them sometime next week.’

New paragraph, ‘There is a Halloween Party October 28th I’m going to with a bunch of people. Mandatory costumes, 8 pm to 5 am. You can bring some friends if you want, dancing, drinking and fun.’

So I thanked her profusely for moving things forward with the paintings and told her—truthfully—that I would be out of town that weekend and that it was a shame because—untruthfully—the party sounded like a lot of fun.

But looking my response over, it seemed too curt. She had done me this great favor—or started to anyway.

So I thought I’d mention I’d see her at an office party thrown by this guy, let’s call him Mick. However, I didn’t know if she was invited and Mick was at lunch, so I asked our administrator if she knew if Christy was invited. She didn’t know. When Mick came back from lunch I asked him. He confirmed she was invited. So I closed my email with, ‘maybe I’ll see you at Mick’s party.’

About twenty minutes later, I heard our administrator tell Mick that Christy needed directions to his place.

I had, inadvertently, made double plans for the night of the party. Mick—a divorced, retired Navy guy—had given me nearly a months notice. But I forgot about it earlier in he week when I agreed to see The Prestige that night with a friend. Not a big deal, I thought. The party started at six, so I could go, hang out for a couple of hours and head to the movie. Reasonable enough for an office party, right?

So, I run into Christy in the elevator and she says she’s working her other job until about ten and would head over after that. I tell her I wouldn’t be at the party that late. I don’t spell out that I have a movie to go to, because it seems rude to plan on leaving a party to see a movie. She tells me I don’t know how to party and I think she’s right but say nothing.

Saturday comes and I’m running late. My buddy picks me up at 6:30 and I realize I don’t know if it’s full-on food or just snacks. I don’t want to be the guy who eats the entire cheese-cube tray. I mean I don’t want to be the guy who eats the entire cheese-cube tray, again. So we swing by a beer and sandwich joint for a beer and sandwich. Then get a six-pack of Budweiser bottles for party favors. I tell a quick story about how someone at a party brought cans of beer and how strange I thought that was.

‘Who drinks beer in cans?’ I ask.

‘Most everybody,’ my buddy says. I think about it and realize that’s true. Then I buy a six-pack of Budweiser bottles.

It’s a little after seven when we arrive at the party.

Mick’s house surprises me. He’s a divorced, retired navy guy, as I mentioned before. He lives with his cousin and raises ferrets. Over his desk in the office he has a needlepoint image of a wizard holding a crystal ball, casting a spell. So I don’t know exactly what I was expecting—lots of cages and D&D books maybe? But instead it’s a beautiful home in the historic district with antique furniture and a huge flatscreen television that makes all the men envious. His backyard would shame even the Garden Channel.

We sit on the deck chairs in the backyard and he lets me play with the ferrets. He brings them out, one by one, and hands them to me. There is the little baby one, the white one, the fat one, the old one, then the blind one. Something on my leg feels wet, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t go potty on myself. Mick didn’t mention I held the incontinent one.

So all ten of us are having a nice time. My buddy and I have two beers each. Someone has a glass of wine. No one else is drinking. After about two hours, I ask the time. Hearing it’s slightly after nine, I say we’ve got to go. My buddy and I leave. Four other people make their exit at the same time. I don’t give that part of the evening another thought.

Until Monday morning, when the coffee maker explodes.


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

I don't drink beer out of cans, either.


Blogger Spider writes:

Nothing is ever easy is it...


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

ditto on the cans, they're not allowed in my house.


Blogger CampBlood writes:

And how was "The Prestige?" I love that Christian Bale...


Blogger dan writes:

There is a time and a place for beer in a can, just like there is a time and a place for incontinent ferrets.

There is, however, no time or place for needlepoint wizards. Even if the display of such is supposed to be ironic.


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