He stood in the doorway of his office watching,
waiting. Where was she? She had told him she wanted
meet him at 9 pm.
9:15…16…17... Time weighed heavy on him; it
his life into pain, more pain, and
unbearable. It faltered arbitrarily, like his halting
gait, and slowed - seemingly
at will. He hated
waiting. Waiting made time his master. “Shit” he said
He let the weight of his head fall back
and reveled briefly in the relief of tension. These
kinds of moments were
few but precious.
She wasn’t usually this late.
It wasn’t in his nature to wait
for anyone. He’d
shuffled through some pending paperwork and downloaded
a Chopin piece from the internet,
but that had been
about twenty minutes ago. “What the hell am I doing
here?” he thought. He reached
for the light switch.
He lifted his cane to shut off the lights, but at that
moment a dark, unfamiliar feeling welled
up inside of
him. It was a feeling he’d seen in others, even in
the characters in his soap opera, but nothing
resided in him. It was a yearning to connect, even
for a moment, with someone who knew him. “Son
bitch” he said, loud enough for passersby to hear him.
His cane rose more quickly this time and he slammed
against the switchplate with the full force of his
body behind it.
Jagged edges of pain pulsated from
a place deep within
his thigh and made him catch his breath. He quickly
replaced the cane at his side and started down
“House?!” she called as he passed her. “Bartender
find you a cab?” he replied. As he turned
the corner she thought she heard him say, “Never again