Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Tuesday, October 31

Secret Orgins: Ordinals

When I was in kindergarten, in preparation for a teacher parent conference, I was asked what I liked best about kindergarten by my teacher.

My answer, I’m told, was ‘lining up.’

Friday, October 27

Part three of three: Tusk

It’s Monday a little before seven am and I’m the first one in the office. I’m in the kitchen at the coffee maker because I didn’t have any coffee at home. I pour the coffee in the filter, pour the water in the reservoir tank, put the coffee pot on the hot plate and turn it on. I go to my office—the office that still has no paintings on the wall—and start up the computer. I check to see if any emergent emails came through over the weekend and return to the coffee maker.

Coffee and grounds are everywhere, running over the counter, under the microwave and onto the floor. I begin sopping it up with bunches of napkins and paper towels, when Mick comes in.

‘So it happened to you this morning,’ he says.

‘This has happened before?’

‘Yeah, about once a week,’ he says and comes over and helps me for a moment. I’m trying to sop up the coffee, but it’s still at the point where the napkins are pushing more than they are absorbing. He stops and leans against the wall and says, ‘Can I ask you a question?’

I’m wiping down the hot plate where the coffee pot sits, but I look up at him briefly and say, ‘sure.’

‘I want to ask you a question,’ he says again, and pauses. With all this build up, I figure he’s going to ask if I’m gay or if my buddy was my boyfriend. I don’t want to have that conversation this morning—let alone without coffee—but I’m not exactly relived when he instead asks, ‘Did you leave my party early so you wouldn’t have to see Christy?’

‘No,’ I say, not expecting that question at all.

‘Everyone seems under the impression that you did.’

I’m quickly thinking about how I had asked people in the office if she was coming, how I had known she was coming around ten, how I had asked my buddy several times about the time and—as soon as I heard it was after nine—made my exit.

So I tell Mick that I went to a nine-thirty movie. Hoping it will clear up everything—before realizing it’s also admitting I’d planned on leaving his party to see a movie.

‘Oh,’ he said, pausing, ‘cause I think they’re trying to set her up with you.’

‘Yeah,’ I say, ‘I’m not too sure what that’s about.’

‘Well, doc, let me just say this,’ he says in a tone that lets me know he’s going to break it down for me, with a slight pause between each word, ‘you’re not exactly ugly.’

We kind of laugh and I try not to burn my fingers as I pick up the coffee filter and throw it out. Then I ask who had that impression.

‘Most everybody,’ he said, then his tone changed. ‘It didn’t really matter though, because nearly everyone went home after you left.’ Then he paused for quite a while and said, ‘thanks for ruining my party.’

In the next tenth of a second a lot of things went through my mind. Not the least of which was: Is he joking?

So two-tenths of a second later, I opted for the option where he was joking and I laughed and left the building entirely. I went to get coffee from the emergency department, at least there I know what I’m doing.

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.

Tuesday, October 24

Part one of three: The Paintings

July first—for the first time in my life—I got my own office. It was not huge. It was not a corner office, nor did it have any windows. But—for the first time in my life—I had my own office.

I had four empty walls, and nothing to put on them. Three years ago, I had noticed, in the far back corner of the medical school library, a series of five paintings stacked against the wall. Not displayed, not hung, just stacked against the wall. When I saw them, I pulled them out and examined them. They were amazing.

They were modern, cleaned-lined, and flat—almost colorfield—images of surgical scenes: A lymph node biopsy, a lipoma removal, the initial incision for a breast augmentation. One used a fractured, precision style. It showed a figure in scrubs walking toward you, all geometric angles and lines. The scrubs and the surgical mask hanging loosely around the neck were all that was represented: no skin, no head, just the scrubs and surgical mask.

So with this office to fill, I immediately thought of those unheeded paintings and went to the library and asked the head librarian if I could check them out for a year for my office.

Of course, nothing is easy. These paintings, it turned out, were donated by a foundation. There were serious concerns about what stipulations the foundation had made concerning them. To make matters worse, the head librarian was retiring and I doubt she wanted to jump the bureaucratic hoops to allow me to borrow the paintings.

So I was told that they were not permitted to loan out the paintings, but they would contact me if the situation changed.

I did not hold my breath.

Friday, October 20

No, This Is Halloween

I was going through my bottom nightstand drawer, pulling things out and showing them to Pasteur, trying to figure out a Halloween costume. I pulled out a Fossil silver-faced watch, then a studded leather wrist band. I pulled out some extra-large flannel boxer shorts with the state university colors and symbol, an extra-small plain white t-shirt, and an earring, all the while suggesting costumes I could create from them.

‘Why do you,’ he interrupted my idea of a before & after diet person, ‘have all this random garbage in your nightstand?’

‘It stuff people have left here,’ I said, ‘after spending the night.’

‘Then,’ he said, laughing at me, ‘why don't you just go as every person you've slept with in the past three years.’

Tuesday, October 17

Why I am not Seinfeld

This weekend the Marquee and I went to Atlanta and almost got into a bar fight.

Well, I suppose, technically, we did get into a bar fight, but no one was arrested or came out with visible scars or missing teeth, so in my book, we almost got in a bar fight.

It started when I, being charming, tried my hand at observational comedy.

We were talking to a couple of guys, Matt and Jason. It was clear Jason was well-past ready to head home, but was hanging out because Matt wanted to. Fair enough. So we’re chatting with them and also with Jessica, a very nice lawyer from Seattle, when some guy with a lip piercing comes up and starts open mouth kissing Matt—right in front of Jason. So this seems like a good time for three-jack-&-coke’s Erik to try his hand at observational comedy.

‘Have you ever noticed how when someone’s waiting at a bar for someone else to be ready to head home there’s always another shoe to drop? Take these two for example,’ this part of the comedy, it is important to point out, only occurred in my head. I then said, out loud, ‘Matt clearly doesn’t care at all about Jason.’

Admittedly, this is funny more in a context of hypothetically saying something. Saying such things out loud isn’t terribly clever. Since no one laughed, I turned from the group and started talking Jessica.

What I didn’t notice was Matt interrupted his kissing to say, ‘you better watch your fucking mouth.’

So I’m blithely facing Jessica when I’m shoved into her and her drink goes down her top and I hear the Marquee say, ‘Get over it you stupid asshole.’ I hear Matt say something and the Marquee continues ‘You want to take it outside? I’ll break you over my goddamn knee, fucker.’

Everyone is suddenly shoving and shouting obscenities. Jason is pulling Matt away from us and I’m trying to shield Jessica from any further assault.

And then it was over.

‘That was kind of weird,’ I said to Jessica. Then, laughing, to the Marquee, ‘Thank you for defending my honor.’

So we head to the bar to replace the drinks that were lost in the scuffle and I see a drag queen and say, ‘That’s an enormous head. I mean, even for a man.’

Thursday, October 12

Secret Origins: The Encased Hippopotamus

When I was eight, my father took my sister and me to the Field Museum, Chicago’s Museum of Natural History. We were going through the dioramas of African mammals and we saw the encased hippopotamus.

‘Isn’t he a funny looking animal,’ my father said, ‘'he just looks like a big pig, but he’s actually one of the most vicious animals in Africa. More people are killed by hippos than any other animal. They will charge even at a Jeep.

This was important. It was the first time I realized that I knew more about a subject than my father did. I realized that he had confused an hippopotamus with a rhinoceros. I did not feel dizzy or nauseous. I stared at the glass encased hippopotamus and let my eyes change focus from it to the glass’s reflection of my father’s face as he went on talking about the hippo.

I straightened my back a little and thought about how this changed everything. I had convinced my mother to leave the Catholic Church several years earlier—perhaps a story for another time. By the time I was three, I had open contempt for the notion of Santa. But it had not occurred to me to question my father’s reliability. He was certainly real enough anyway and seemed to know quite a bit about many things. This was the moment, with my gaze continuing to oscillate between the hippopotamus and the glass reflection of my father, I began crafting my wings.

I had no idea at the time how waxen they were.

Wednesday, October 11

What's That? You Love Dinosour Comics too? Aww, Baby!

Did I mention how much I love Dinosour Comics?

Monday, October 9

With Priests Like These, Who Need Athiests?

I was driving past a church on Saturday and the marquee announced the Sunday Sermon's title, ‘Spiritual lessons from Superheroes.’

Now, I don't really know this, but I suspect every time a sermon like that is given, God dies a little bit.

Wednesday, October 4

Uncynical Wednesdays: Movies I love

2 Girls in Love (1995), 8 1/2 Women (1999), 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), 12 Monkeys (1995), 13 Conversations About One Thing (2002), 25th Hour (2002), 200 Cigarettes (1999), 1984 (1984), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Abyss (1989), The Accused (1988), Adaptation (2002), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984), After Hours (1985), Airplane! (1980), Akira (1988), Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990), Alias Betty “Betty Fisher et Autres Histoires” (2001), Alice (1990), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Nation (1988), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), All About My Mother “Todo sobre mi madre” (1999), All of Me (1984), Altered States (1980), Amelie (2001), American Graffiti (1973), American History X (1998), American Pie (1999), American Psycho (2000), American Splendor (2003), An American Werewolf in London (1981), An Angel at My Table (1990), Angel Heart (1987), Angels in America (2003), The Animatrix (2003), Annie Hall (1977), Another Country (1985), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Aristocrats (2005), As Good as It Gets (1997), At Close Range (1984), Auntie Mame (1958), Bad Education “La Mala Educación” (2004), Bagdad Cafe (1988), Bananas (1971), Barcelona (1994), Barfly (1987), Barton Fink (1991), Batman (1989), Batman Begins (2005), Batman Returns (1992), Beautiful Girls (1996), Beautiful Thing (1996), Before Night Falls (2000), Being John Malkovich (1999), The Believer (2001), The Belly of an Architect (1987), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Best in Show (2000), Better Luck Tomorrow (2003), A Better Tomorrow “Ying huang boon sik” (1986), The Bicycle Thief “Ladri di biciclette” (1948), Big Fish (2003), The Big Lebowski (1998), The Big Picture (1989), Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), The Birds (1963), Black Hawk Down (2001), Blade Runner (1982), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Blazing Saddles (1974), Blood Simple (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Bob Roberts (1994), Body Double (1984), Body Heat (1981), Boogie Nights (1997), Bound (1996), A Boy and His Dog (1975), Boys Don't Cry (1999), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Brazil (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), Breaking the Waves (1996), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Bright Lights, Big City (1988), Broadcast News (1987), Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Broken Hearts Club (2000), The Brother From Another Planet (1984), Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Movie (1992), Bulworth (1998), California Suite (1978), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Carnival of Souls (1962), The Celluloid Closet (1995), Chicken Run (2000), Chinatown (1974), Citizen Kane (1941), Citizen Ruth (1996), Clerks (1994), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Clue (1985), The Company of Wolves (1984), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Contact (1997), The Contender (2000), The Conversation (1974), Cook, the Thief, His Wife, Her Lover (1989), The Cotton Club (1984), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Crimes of Passion (1985), Cronos (1993), Cross Creek (1983), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Cry Freedom (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Darkman (1990), Dazed and Confused (1993), Dead Man (1995), Dead of Winter (1987), Dead Ringers (1988), The Dead Zone (1983), Death and the Maiden (1994), Death of a Salesman (1985), Deathtrap (1982), The Deer Hunter (1978), Defending Your Life (1991), Deliverance (1972), Diner (1982), Do the Right Thing (1989), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Dogfight (1991), Dogville (2004), Donnie Darko (2001), The Doom Generation (1995), The Doors (1991), Down With Love (2003), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), Dreamscape (1984), Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Drunken Master (2000), Easy Rider (1969), The Edge (1997), The Edward R. Murrow Collection (2005), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Election (1999), The Elephant Man (1980), Elizabeth (1998), The Emerald Forest (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Equilibrium (2002), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Everybody's All American (1988), Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex… (1971), Existenz (1999), Fame (1980), Fantasia (1940), Far from Heaven (2002), Fargo (1996), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Femme Fatale (2002), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Fight Club (1999), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Flirting with Disaster (1996), The Fly (1986), The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), Frogs (1972), From Hell (2001), Funny Girl (1968), Garden State (2004), Gattaca (1997), Get on the Bus (1996), Ghost in the Shell “Kokaku kidotai” (1995), Ghost World (2001), Go Fish (1994), The Godfather (1972), The Godfather, Part II (1974), The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), The Goodbye Girl (1977), Gorky Park (1983), Gosford Park (2001), The Graduate (1967), The Grifters (1990), Groundhog Day (1993), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Hair (1979), Happiness (1998), Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Harold and Maude (1971), Heathers (1989), Heist (2001), Hell House (2001), Henry & June (1990), High Fidelity (2000), The Hotel New Hampshire (1984), The Hours (2002), House of Games (1987), The House of Mirth “Chez les heureux du monde” (2000), How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), The Hunger (1983), I Am Trying to Break Your Heart “WilcoFilm” (2002), I Heart Huckabees (2004), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), I'm the One That I Want (2000), The Ice Storm (1997), An Ideal Husband (1999), If These Walls Could Talk (1996), If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), Igby Goes Down (2002), Immortality “The Wisdom of Crocodiles” (2000), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), In Cold Blood (1967), In the Company of Men (1997), Intacto (2001), Jackass: The Movie (2002), Jacob's Ladder (1990), Jaws (1975), The Jerk (1979), JFK (1991), Journeys with George (2002), Jungle Fever (1991), Kalifornia (1993), Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), The Killing Fields (1984), The King of Comedy (1983), Kissing Jessica Stein (2002), Kung Fu Hustle (2004), La Cage aux Folles (1979), La Femme Nikita (1990), Labyrinth (1986), The Lair of the White Worm (1988), The Last Supper (1996), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Legend of Drunken Master “Jui Kuen II”(1994), Life Is Beautiful (1997), The Limey (1999), The Lion in Winter (1968), Little Big Man (1970), Little Man Tate (1991), Live and Let Die (1973), Living Out Loud (1998), Logan's Run (1976), Lolita (1997), The Lord of the Rings (1978), The Lost Boys (1987), Lost Horizon (1937), Lost in America (1985), Lost in Translation (2003),Love and Death (1975), Ma Vie En Rose (1997), The Machinist (2004), Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991), Magnolia (1999), The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), The Man with Two Brains (1983), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Manhattan (1979), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Married to the Mob (1988), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), MASH (1970), Matewan (1987), The Matrix (1999), The Matrix: Reloaded (2003), The Meaning of Life (1983), Medium Cool (1969), Memento (2000), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc “Jeanne d'Arc” (1999), Metropolis (1927), Metropolitan (1990), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Miller's Crossing (1990), Minority Report (2002), Miracle Mile (1989), The Mission (1986), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Mommie Dearest (1981), The Monster “Il Mostro” (1994), The Mosquito Coast (1986), Mother (1996), The Muppet Movie (1979), Murder by Death (1976), Murderball (2005), Muriel's Wedding (1994), My Bodyguard (1980), My Life as a Dog (1985), Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Nashville (1975), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), The Natural (1984), Natural Born Killers (1994), Nick of Time (1995), A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988), Nine to Five (1980), North by Northwest (1959), Notorious (1946), Notorious C.H.O. (2002), Nurse Betty (2000), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Office Space (1999), Oldboy “Oldeuboi” (2003), On Golden Pond (1981), On the Waterfront (1954), Once Upon a Time in China (1991), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Orgazmo (1998), The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), Orlando (1992), Outland (1981), Paper Moon (1973), Paragraph 175 (2000), Parenthood (1989), Passion Fish (1992), La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928), Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Phenomenon (1996), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Pi: Faith in Chaos (1998), The Piano (1993), The Pillow Book (1997), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Player (1992), Pleasantville (1998), Point of Order (1964), Poison (1991), Poltergeist (1982), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Powaqqatsi (1988), Powder (1995), Power (1986), The Presidents: Republicans (1998), Pretty in Pink (1986), Prick Up Your Ears (1987), Primal Fear (1996), Princess Mononoke (1997), Private Benjamin (1980), Psycho (1960), Pulp Fiction (1994), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Purple Rain (1984), Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Raging Bull (1980), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Raising Arizona (1987), Rambling Rose (1991), Ran (1985), Rashomon (1950), Reagan: American Experience (1998), Reality Bites (1994), Rear Window (1954), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Ref (1994), Repo Man (1984), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Restoration (1995), River's Edge (1986), Robin Hood (Disney), (1973), Roger & Me (1989), Roger Dodger (2002), Romancing the Stone (1984), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), Rope (1948), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990), Roxanne (1987), The Rules of Attraction (2002), Rumble Fish (1983), Run Lola Run (1998), Safe (1995), Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (2005), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Say Anything (1989), Scanners (1981), Scarface (1983), School Daze (1988), The School of Rock (2003), Scotland, PA (2002), Screamers (1996), Secretary (2002), Serial Mom (1995), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), Seven (1995), Seven Samurai (1954), sex, lies, and videotape (1989), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Shallow Hal (2001), The Sheltering Sky (1990), Short Cuts (1993), Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Suprmasochist (1997), Sidewalks of New York (2000), Sideways (2004), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Silkwood (1983), A Simple Plan (1998), Sin City (2005), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Sixteen Candles (1984), The Sixth Sense (1999), Slacker (1991), SLC Punk (1999), Sleeper (1973), Sling Blade (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), Snake Eyes (1998), Sneakers (1992), A Soldier's Story (1984), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Some Like It Hot (1959), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), Something Wild (1986), The Sound of Music (1965), South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999), Soylent Green (1973), Spider-Man (2002), Spirited Away “Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi” (2002), Splendor in the Grass (1961), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Stand by Me (1986), Star Wars: Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (1980), Stealing Home (1988), The Straight Story (1999), Strange Days (1995), Strangers on a Train (1951), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Super Troopers (2002), Superman II (1980), Superman: The Movie (1978), Swimming to Cambodia (1987), Swingers (1996), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance “Boksuneun naui geot” (2002), Take the Money and Run (1969), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Talk to Her “Hable Con Ella” (2002), Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984), Taxi Driver (1976), The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2 (1991), Terms of Endearment (1983), Thank You for Smoking (2005), Thelma & Louise (1991), There's Something About Mary (1998), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Thing (1982), Things I Left in Havana (1997), Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her (2000), Thirteen Days (2000), This Boy's Life (1993), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), Three Kings (1999), Threesome (1994), Throne of Blood “Kumonosu Jo” (1957), ¡Tie Me Up! ¡Tie Me Down! (1990), Time After Time (1979), To Die For (1995), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Tootsie (1982), Total Recall (1990), Trainspotting (1995), The Triplets of Belleville (2003), The Trouble With Harry (1955), True Believer (1989), True Stories: Talking Heads (1986), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Unbreakable (2000), The United States of Leland (2004), The Vanishing “Spoorloos” (1988), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Vertigo (1958), Videodrome (1983), Waiting for Guffman (1996), Waking Life (2001), Wall Street (1987), War Letters: American Experience (2002), The War Room (1993), Watership Down (1979), Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996), Whale Rider (2003), What Alice Found (2003), What Have I Done to Deserve This? “¿Qué he Hecho Yo Para Merecer Esto?!!” (1984), What's Up, Doc? (1972), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Wings of Desire (1987), Without You I'm Nothing (1990), Witness (1985), Wolfen (1981), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), The Work of Director Spike Jonze (2003), Working Girl (1988), The World According to Garp (1982), X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001), The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), Yojimbo the Bodyguard (1961), Young Frankenstein (1974), Z (1969), A Zed & Two Noughts (1985), Zelig (1983).

Monday, October 2

Secret Origins I

Do you remember the first time you realized that you were different? That things were different for other people than they were for you? It wasn’t that rules didn’t apply to you; they just applied differently.

I was six when I first figured it out about myself, in the hayloft of my family’s farm—my feet perched on a crossbeam, heels and toes hanging over its edge. I watched the cattle twenty feet below me. I faced up and—arms outstretched—fell forward and arced out over the herd, swallows and sparrows took flight around me as I flew to the other side of the barn, barely aware of the rope harness my cousins had fashioned around my chest and shoulders.

The cattle spooked and shoved each other, beginning a slow stampede from the barn. My cousins pulled the rope and I flew upward. Grabbing another crossbeam, I pulled myself onto it.

I stood—arms akimbo—surveying the scene, well impressed with my feat.

It was my first realization that the laws of gravity were malleable. Though it had required my cousin’s technical expertise, a good deal of rope, and the hay pulley, those details seemed negligible and I wondered what other humanly limitations I would soon find ways to circumvent.

Medical Records

Season Three

Season Two

Season One