Seeking Reality

Hank was a realist. He didn’t want to make Marion wary of his attentions. He kept an alert eye on her for signs of drug induced impairment. He’d noticed that she kept to a religious schedule in taking the recommended dosages on her pill bottles.  There weren’t any overt personality or function changes. Hank wondered if Ned’s diagnosis was a matter of transference. Everyone knew Ned had his hands full with the antics of his oldest boy.

Ned was always just a little bit off in his delivery. People thought he believed the myth of his own  superiority. Hank wasn’t so sure. When he looked at Ned, he saw an uncertain, snot-nosed, little nerd, who was giving it back to all the kids who’d given him a wedgie after gym class. Ned was the pride and joy of a certain segment of the community. He was a wunderkind in high school, skipping grades and testing off the charts. His SAT scores were perfect. He came from a long line of woodsmen, hardworking people, who asked for nothing from anyone. He’d graduated from med school and come back to his home town to practice. He brought his new bride back with him and they started a family.

None of this obscured the fact that his oldest boy was a juvenile delinquent who would have been somewhere on the inside looking out if not for the concerted efforts of family, Ned’s colleagues, and some very expensive lawyers. People had laughed when Travis Lawson, the lead finish carpenter and project supervisor at Foster Shaw, had called Ned after he discovered that Ned’s kid was smoking pot and having sex with his 14 year old daughter, Angie. He left a message on his cell phone- “Whitney, you quack motherfucker, you keep your psychopath kid away from my daughter or I’ll break every bone in your body! It will take a fucking army of quacks to put your puny ass back together again.”  The kicker had been that Ned’s kid sent the message from his father’s cell phone to his own and played it for anyone who cared to listen. Travis wasn’t far off; the kid may not be a psychopath but he was a sociopath in progress. Most recently he’d been stopped for speeding by the state cops who’d discovered pot and boxes of baggies in his car. When the troopers questioned him about the paraphernalia, he’d said “I eat a lot of sandwiches.” The kid had brass.

Hank made an appointment to review Marion’s medical records.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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7 Responses to Seeking Reality

  1. Ned was my doctor for a good many years, but he died.

  2. Since there’s nothing more to read at the moment, I’ll pause and reflect. The writing is as usual brilliantly executed. I say as usual because those of us who read your blog regularly have come to expect it — actually, some of us think ourselves entitled to it. The great imagery and the wonders you work with words are only heightened when you move into the world of fiction (I’m biased here). (I’m being called away to Saturday; I’ll continue later.)

    • elroyjones says:

      Saturday is calling me too but I have to sit and wait for the plumber who seems to keep a mercurial schedule. If he’d just commit one way or the other I could continue living my life. Either I will be getting water to do the dishes from the garden hose through the foreseeable future or I will be able to use the kitchen faucet, I wish he’d just tell me which it will be so I can get the hell out of limbo.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on this story, to say all of the flattering things that you have. As usual I am flying by the seat of my pants. This story was inspired by a confidence that may or may not be factual. The knowledge troubled me and I had to find a way to reconcile it. Part way through I found myself thinking I was screwed because I didn’t know the end. I have since gotten bravely over that. I am grateful for your opinions and your continued support. I wish I had time to write more fiction. I could be writing right now while I’m waiting for the plumber.

  3. oooohhhh…. stuff is happening now.

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