What It Seems


“Back here, sir.” The doctor tapped his clipboard with a ballpoint pin-a metallic meeting plastic click that seemed to snap the patient back into focus. But only for a second.
He rubbed the thinning gray hair on his scalp with the knuckles of his left hand. His eyes flickered over the cabinets, the sink, the white walls with sparse decorations, and then to the window.
“Sir?” The doctor’s voice betrayed the slightest frustration.
“Sorry.” The older man dragged his gaze away from the window and focused it on the gray and white tiles at the doctor’s feet. His hands were now clasped neatly in his lap.
“Try to focus on what I’m saying. What is your name?”
The man’s eyes wandered to the window again. The grass outside was neatly trimmed, spread in a circle around the front courtyard, where a constant flow of people and vehicles trickled to and from the parking lot. “Don’t member.”
“Charles? Charley Fourg?
“Yep.” He spat the phrase out, his tone low.
“Okay.” The doctor tapped the clipboard again, this time over the paper where the sound would be more muffled. Thot. “Charley, you know why you’re here?”
“Then why?” The doctor leaned in.
He shook his head. The skin around his eyes sagged with age. Raising a hand, he rubbed his head with his knuckles again, back and forth, back and forth. “I know she dinnit make it.”
“Your daughter?”
“Yep. They shot er.”
The doctor inhaled. “Wait right here Mr. Fourg.”
The patient’s eyes were brimming with tears, glistening like the afternoon sun through the window, as the doctor exited the room.
Senile. Or heartbroken? He asked himself. Alzheimer’s? Or was it the desperate attempt of a wounded mind trying to bury what it had lost?
The doctor ran a callused hand over his eyes. Was it worth it to the poor soul to help him remember?
It had been ten years. Is it worth it???
He smoothed the form on his clipboard. Maybe the pictures will help.


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