My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, March 21

Same Day Care Clinics

A few days ago, I went with Rosalie to the same-day care clinic. She’s having a terrible time breathing—asthma, bronchitis, emphysema. One of them. Or maybe a combination of all three. I went with her in case they sent her to the hospital, which would have left the car abandoned in the Banner parking lot. We were there for nearly three hours, a length that speaks to how popular and much used such a clinic can be. Immediate primary physician care and hospital emergency rooms are now out of the question. So, what does one do when one needs attention that can’t be found with one’s doctor or the local ER? One goes to a same-day care clinic.

I tried to read, but there was a man nearby who was holding two poor souls captive as he talked at them. In only half an hour he must have spewed forth twenty thousand non-stop words with the couple painfully nodding. It wasn’t his loudness that kept me from my book; it was his verbal rapidity, like sitting in a dentist’s chair for thirty minutes of non-stop drilling. Finally, finally, he was called into the inner-sanctum, and I was able to get back to my book.

I’m reading the third in Lawrence Block’s Hitman series. I catch myself occasionally chuckling, even outright laughing now and then. Such a strange concept—a really nice guy, an unassuming fellow who collects stamps and kills people with enough regularity to feed his philatelic tastes. Keller and his partner Dot take on contracts, splitting their fees. And all the while he’s killing folks, and the reader (I, at least) sort of sides with him. He’s such a nice guy, and almost all of whom he kills are not nice guys (or an occasional not nice lady). I’ve already read the entire series, but now I think I may have to read them all again. Damn! So many books, so little time.

Every now and then I’d set the book aside to people-watch. There were about two dozen of us in the outer area, mostly people waiting to be seen, a few, like me, there as company for a spouse. One in five reading a book, one in three on a phone or tablet talking or playing a game or maybe reading an e-book. More fat ones than skinny ones, many with ankles and calves sporting varicose veins like black and blue tattoos. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two alike. A man dressed all in white with matching hair got up to deliver a questionnaire to the check-in window. And he minced his way there and back. Never in my life have I had occasion to describe someone’s walk as mincing. But there it was, a sort of careful, short stride that announced his gaiety. I’ve often wondered if the affectations of gay men are learned or are innate, with them from birth. Many gay men have no gay labels. Maybe they’re considered the husband in a gay union and the flitty one the wife. I’m not stereotyping and I’m not homophobic; I’m just trying to understand what makes us all tick. I remember the sitcom Will and Grace. Jack (Sean Hayes) and Will (Eric McCormack) are both gay but only Jack is depicted with the assumed gay behavior—the flicked wrist, the saunter, the elevated vocal tone, the professed love for Barbra and Cher, the catty wit, the flamboyance, the crossed arm with index finger to cheek, the pursed mouth, the fastidiousness of The Odd Couple’s Felix Unger. Then there’s Will, a gay lawyer displaying none of the above. Straight and gay are no longer the only categories for sexual preference. And, happily, we’re no longer so hung up on anyone’s preference. At least, most of us aren’t. We still have homophobes today, but not nearly as many as just a few years ago.

After two hours, Rosalie came out to inform me she had to have a chest x-ray. More reading, more people-watching. An hour later, she was back and we were able to come home. She told me the doctor said she had acute asthmatic bronchitis. She was prescribed a prednisone pack and an antibiotic, after which she should be feeling much better. I hope so. It’s not fun when you spend the night hacking and coughing and not sleeping. Neither of us sleeping, neither of us having any fun.
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