It was one of those warm and humid days.
When it’s like that in LA, it is
miserably smoggy, but here
it is just moody and gloomy—no rain—
in the mid-seventies, like me.
Drove and hour to Temple, Texas,
for tests (the answers to which I thought I knew)
and to see a new PA-doc
and then to get gas
and drive another hour back home.
It’s boring sitting and waiting,
but since this is a hospital, boring and routine are good.
No, “I’m sorry, Mister Bill, but … ‘oh, no’.”
I saw nicely dressed police or correctional officers escorting
a mildly overweight bald man in an orange jump suit
and fake shoes
with handcuffs in the front,
all making it hard for others to not stare and wonder.
It was not so boring thinking about that.
Got an obit email that morning.
Another high school classmate had died
(they say he passed to be euphemistic
as though he just kept driving).
Patrick Murphy (Murph)
was an artist and philosopher
of Irish descent, and a Vietnam War vet.
His obituary was more interesting than most.
Anyway, I shall not be
characteristically pointing out problems or deficiencies today
because Murph is dead, and I am not. It’s all good, thanks.
So, I’ll just sit here trying to remember him
from art class, I think,
and be happily bored on a gloomy day
in a hospital clinic waiting area
in Temple, fucking, Texas.
Looking both ways at the days of gloom and doom. Mind the gaps in loose cuffs and I wonder who wipes his butt.
Click the photo of Robin Williams and Matt Damon to watch this scene from the movie, Good Will Hunting.
It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.
Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.
I look around
and I say to myself, man, what are you doing here?
It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.
Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
fail to do it first.
It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?
So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”
Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.