two of a kind by parenthesized

18 Apr

Lindsay exits her psychotherapist’s office quickly enough to see the red indicator light turn off. She glances around the room.  Another door opens to reveal a middle-aged, slightly pudgy man who seems to suffer from what she believes are medically-induced hallucinations. The aggressive way he swallows his pills with his Adams apple bulging out vulgarly…well, he never appears to be emotionally stable in the least.  She does not remember if she has once seen him calm and affable in the three or so years he has held the appointment before her.  She wonders why he is in the office now.   She, for one, is glad that her husband is not a man like him, so forthright and jittery.  After giving him a polite nod, she walks through the door and toward the elevator, hoping to avoid the awkward silence that would surely follow.

Of course, he enters the elevator with her.  She hides a shudder as he tosses back a few more blue and white pills. She softens quickly though.  Addiction is a messy subject she is too familiar with.  Everyone has their reasons after all.  Who is she to judge?

He says nothing for the first seven floors, but as they past the 18th, he says, “I hate her.”

“I beg your pardon?”  She chooses to get involved foolishly, not biting her tongue in time.  She is surprised at herself.  Normally, she is fantastic at keeping quiet, especially when it comes to male frustrations.

“My ex-wife just had that son-of-a-bitch’s baby.”  He spits out the words and digs for his pill bottle.

Lindsay does nothing to stop his self-medicating.  It is not her place to interfere in others’ lives.  She repeats this as a mantra.  It is not her place to interfere in others’ lives.

“I’m sorry,” she says, refraining from making eye contact.  She does not like the sound of broken rage in his voice and harsh breathing.

“No, I am.  I let her get too goddamn busy and what do you know?  She meets John.  Precious fucking John who looks at her like a woman instead of something to crotchet on.”

Lindsay thought crotchet was an odd turn of phrase.  Perhaps, he had more issues than she had suspected.  “Crotchet on?”

“I knit.  It’s an activity that requires a lot of dexterity, not as feminine as everyone thinks.”  She finds herself amused by his defensiveness, a small smile lifting her lips.  “Of course.”

The elevator finally reaches the parking garage.  He shakes his head, not at her, but in a bitter resignation at himself, something she recognizes.  She pats him on the shoulder hesitantly.  “I hope you…”  What is the right wording here?  “I hope you feel better about your ex-wife, um….”

“Hammond,” he says.  “It’s Hammond.  Thanks, you too about your husband.”

She feels confused.  “Why do you mention him?”

He smiles at her ruefully.  “The damn spouses make those doctors all their money.  That and the mothers.”

She laughs, and he laughs, and they both wander back to their own cars and their own lives.


We met Hammond previously in hammond.  We met Lindsay in embers and learned more about her in the cow creamer.


2 Responses to “two of a kind by parenthesized”

  1. jmforceton April 19, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    “I beg your pardon?” She chooses to get involved foolishly, not biting her tongue in time. She is surprised at herself. Normally, she is fantastic at keeping quiet, especially when it comes to male frustrations.

    It’s true once you take the first step you are committed.

    I just read the piece with Angel. I think I’d like an elevator screenplay with Lindsey, Angel, Casey, and Elisa.

  2. ingridfnl April 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Oh no! Hammond is medicated… (I am unreasonably attached to Hammond. I want him to be happy.) Poor Lindsay…

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