Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A. W. I. A. 14: The subject changed

The man who claimed to be a doctor had ceded immediately to my demand that we change the subject. I was back in control, and felt that nothing was lost by giving him something in return: he wanted to know about my walk that morning, and so I would tell him.

"I saw trees. I mean, I looked at them and really saw them. Several were blooming. One had light green blossoms that smelled like fermenting honey." I thought but didn't say, more corruption, more rot. If he noticed I hadn't said that, he gave no sign.

The man nodded. It seemed all it entailed these days to claim to be a doctor was the ability to ask questions you know the answers to; nod and breathe in a theatrical way; and occasionally doodle on a pad or fetch coffee.

If I had asked for a pad before, I might have written this idea down when I had it. As it was, I'd foregone asking for a pad to avoid letting the man know I was on to him. I continued: "On one lawn I saw a stand of tiger lilies, tall and straight, standing massed like--"

I stopped. I had thought they looked like mourners at a funeral, but of course, that wouldn't do. "They looked like golf spectators."



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