Saturday, November 28, 2009

A weekend in New York: The fourth (and final) chapter

After Seasons of Love, Graci and I headed back to the hotel. It was late, and our feet had been in heels long enough.

The next morning, she and I got up early to take a walk in much more sensible shoes. We got off the train at Union Square, stopped in a coffee shop to treat our caffeine withdrawal headaches. Cups in hand, we strolled up Fifth Avenue.

We walked and talked, and before we knew it, we were at Rockefeller Center. We stopped to watch the ice skaters. Graci had the same reaction I did the first time I saw the rink, “I didn’t realize it was so small.”

I pointed out the least graceful thing on the ice—a ruddy faced girl with her legs splayed a bit too wide, knees wobbling, arms braced for a fall, feet scooting more than gliding her along. “That would be me,” I said.

“I was just thinking the same thing,” she said...and then, to clarify, “I was thinking that would be me, not that that would be you. Although, now that you’ve said it, I can sort of see that that would be you, too.”

She pointed to the most skillful skater on the rink, a young boy who deftly weaved around the ruddy faced girl. “He’s really very good,” I agreed.

“Yes,” she said, “but I think there’s something wrong with him. He has a funny shaped head.”

“What do you think it is?”

“I don’t know,” she said.

“This is why you should have gone into Peds.”

“So we could diagnose congenital defects at Rockefeller Center?”


She shook her head and rolled her eyes a bit. We walked on. Ten blocks later, we were at the foot of Central Park. “Well,” I said, “do you want to head back, or should we walk through the park?” As if I even had to ask.

When Graci came to visit me during the month I stayed in New York, walking in the park was our favorite thing to do. In the park, it is both easy to forget that your in the middle of a city and impossible to imagine that you’re anywhere but New York. On a cool but sunny early Sunday morning, it was full of locals—young couples with strollers, older people with their grand kids, and lots and lots of dogs.

We meandered through the zoo, pausing to watch the sea lions swim a few laps. My coffee was empty and we had both walked up a bit of an appetite, so we stopped to share a bagel and refill my cup. We ate our bagel at a small, wobbly table near the coffee cart in the middle of a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. The entertainment was provided by a woman who fed bits of muffin to her three tiny dogs who sat in a stroller across from her chair. As they opened their mouths for food, they looked like baby birds, their stroller like a nest on wheels. When actual birds hopped across the woman’s table, hoping for a snack, she hissed and batted them away. Graci and I laughed.

“The irony of this is, apparently, lost on her,” I said.

“Apparently,” said Graci. “But, you know, that’s what my mother would be if she lived here.” It’s true. She already has a Chihuahua and a miniature Jack Russell terrier. She’s really just a toy poodle and a dog stroller away from Central Park crazy.

After our bagel, we headed back to the hotel. It was that time. A weekend that has taken me entirely too long to write about was, in reality, entirely too short. I’m not going to write much about what it was like to say goodbye to Graci, except to say that it was sad. You know what sad looks like, right? If not, I’m sure a woman named Ingrid has posted a picture of it online somewhere. Google it.

I’m also not going to write much about what it was like to actually catch our bus back to Baltimore, except to say that I am not sorry for yelling at that customer service representative on the phone. That’s what you get for working for a company that sends people the wrong confirmation numbers. You get yelled at. There are better people—people who understand that it’s probably not really your fault that the numbers are wrong, who understand that yelling at you does no real good. There are these better people, but they take the train.

The ride back to Baltimore was long. And boring. And once again, we didn’t really sit with each other. Blake was in the row behind me. I spent half the trip twisted around in my seat, talking to him. I told him one or two things about myself I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been so tired. He said all the right things in return. When I turned back around after our conversation, I had to swallow hard to keep from tearing up.

I never see friendship coming. It always sneaks up on me. It somehow both knocks the wind out of me out, and then catches me...just as I’m sure I’m going to fall off my skates.

A weekend in New York: Chapter three

As we settled into our seats, just before they lowered the lights, I texted my friend Josie…

At Wicked with some friends who were dying to see it. My first Broadway show without you…it won’t be the same.

Josie took me to my first show, Hairspray, six years ago. We drove to New York from Ohio, arriving just a few hours before the show started. We didn’t have tickets. Josie never has tickets ahead of time. She doesn't need them. We walked up to the box office. She said, “I need your two best seats.” The man behind the glass mentioned something about row Y. She said, “No, no…you misunderstood. I need your best seats.”

In the end, we sat in the sixth row in the center. I’ve seen several musicals with her since—Aida, Rent, Wicked. We’ve never had tickets ahead of time. When you’re with Josie, you don’t need them.

The first time I saw Wicked, it was from the very first row. These seats are not actually considered the best in the house, but, until just recently, they were my favorites. Wicked was sold out, but the seats in the first row were raffled off a few hours before the show. When we stood in line for the raffle, Josie said, rather matter-of-factly, "I'm going to win two tickets for tonight, and then we'll go shopping and get a bite to eat before the show starts." At this point, I had known her long enough that I would have been surprised if we had walked away without the tickets. She is luck and magic, and while she can't seem to find a decent man (or her keys), she can, in moments like this, bend the very laws of the universe to her will.

Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth were on stage that night. Stephen Oremus was conducting. By the end of the show, I had a huge crush on Stephen. (Some well-meaning reader is headed to the comments section now to tell me that I’m probably not really his type. Thank you, well-meaning reader.) I loved those front row seats because I loved being so close to the orchestra. There was something about seeing them play. I remember staring at the sheet music on the piano below, part of me wishing I could sit right there, on that bench.

This time, I sat in between Evan and Graci. It is a new favorite seat. Watching these two watch a musical is a joy in and of itself. At the end Defying Gravity, the lights came up for the intermission and revealed Evan, crying. Because, as he said, "It was just so beautiful." That is, in fact, how I would describe Evan: Here is a man who cries when it is just so beautiful. Graci was choking back tears of her own.

Blake looked at Evan, laughed, and said, “I knew it! I knew you were crying! I thought, when the lights come up, he’s going to be crying.” I could say something like…and that is, in fact, how I would describe Blake: Here is a man who laughs at other men when they cry. But, to be fair, he doesn't laugh at all crying men, just the one he's in love with. He’s not completely insensitive, just mostly.

At the end of For Good, Mr. Mostly Insensitive was the only one of the four of us with dry eyes. It was then that we diagnosed his condition—congenital absence of tear ducts. He didn’t choose this dry lifestyle. He was born like this. He can’t help it.

After the show, we made our way to the West Village. In the planning of this weekend, Evan found Marie’s Crisis, a bar where everyone stands around a piano in a space the size of your bathroom and sings show tunes all night. This is, perhaps, where the case for planning can be made. Sometimes, through some online research done ahead of time, you find something great. You make plans to go there. Then you go, and it’s great, and you can say, “Hey, that was great. I’m glad we planned it.”

I imagine that’s what Blake and Evan say about all 800 of those pictures from Europe. I’d ask, but then I’d be subjecting myself to 800 stories in which I play not even a supporting role. Who has the patience for that? I'm kidding, of course. I'm very interested in what their lives were like before they knew me. (Just not 800 stories interested.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Marie’s Crisis. It looked exactly like this…

Exactly. We stood in that very spot and sang along as that very person, a guy named Dexter, played that very piano. (Thank you, woman named Ingrid, for posting the above photo online.)

Dexter was playing a lot of fabulous stuff—Chicago when we first got there, Mary Poppins (which sounds lame but is really sort of surprisingly fun to sing in a large, drunk group), Hair, Little Shop of Horrors—but no Rent.

At some point, Blake leaned over to me and said, “You should yell Rent in your lesbian voice.” I don’t really have the space here to fully explain that lesbian bit, except to say that I’m not actually a lesbian. I just look butch compared to all those Georgia peaches Blake is used to. I mean, I do listen to a little Indigo Girls, recycle, donate to the HRC, and get annoyed at people who don’t know the difference between a Flathead and a Phillips screwdriver. But still, I’m a cultural lesbian, at best.

There was a lull in the music. A boy chirped, “Guys and Dolls.” I bellowed, “RENT.” Someone behind me said, “Well...the bulldyke has spoken.” And Dexter started Seasons of Love. Exactly what I was hoping for when, in my butchest voice, I politely made the request. Evan was sitting right next to the piano. This song is one of his best. He taps into his inner Black woman and does Joanne’s solo, complete with high note. It is magnificent.

And it was magnificent.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A weekend in New York: Chapter two

When we got into the city, the first thing we did was get lost...just to get that out of the way. We climbed out of the subway, from which you could nearly spit on our hotel, and, at my instruction, walked in the opposite direction for two blocks. It would be nice to say that I then realized we were going the wrong way, turned us around, and steered us back to the hotel; but I think that might have actually been someone else. (When you’re trying to choose a partner for the Amazing Race, and you find you’ve narrowed it down to Terroni and Blake, alphabetize your list and pick the one on top.)

Graci was waiting for us in the hotel lobby. When I saw her, I resisted the nearly overwhelming urge to squeal like a girl. She gave me a hug, resisting her nearly overwhelming urge to squeeze me like a frog. We checked into our rooms—boys in one, girls in the other—like church camp. When we got into our room, Graci did, in fact, squeeze me like a frog. I would have squealed like a girl, but I couldn’t move air past my vocal cords.

After dropping our bags, we all headed out to find a snack. Blake pulled out his iPhone to look for somewhere to eat. Five minutes later, we were standing in front of a Chipotle.

“Did you tell them I wanted to come here?” Graci asked.

“No,” I said. "This was fate."

We ate and then meandered to Ground Zero where we saw a construction site, some cranes, and a large group of Amish tourists who looked sort of like they’d rather be back in Amish Country. Interesting, because the last time I toured Amish Country, I looked sort of like I'd rather be at a construction site.

We went back to the hotel, got dressed for the evening, and headed out for drinks, dinner, and the show. We started with beers at a pub in Greenwich Village. I don’t remember where we were, what everyone drank, or what the hell we talked about. I just remember that we laughed. A lot. When I am an old woman and can't remember anything we actually do together, I will simply think of these three as the people who make me laugh until my stomach hurts.

After drinks, we walked a few blocks to Lupa for dinner. Now, when Evan and Graci tell you this story, they’ll say that, as he told us about the specials, Blake and I, our mouths watering, looked as though we might just eat the waiter.

Evan and Graci are lying bitches.

Interestingly enough, the waiter didn’t feel the same way about me and Blake as we (allegedly) felt about him. He felt that way about (and all over) Evan instead.

During dinner, Evan's metro card fell out of his pocket. The waiter spotted it on the floor and returned it to his lap. He was an amateur cartographer. Evan's lap was uncharted territory. Since he was there anyway, returning the card, he meandered a bit to survey the landscape.

When he dropped off the check later, he apologized, “I’m sorry about that earlier. I didn’t know if you just dropped your card, or if you were maybe…”

Evan cut him off there, “That’s okay. Thanks for picking up the card.”

“What was that about?” I asked.

“He felt me up earlier.”

“He what?” I said.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve dropped shit out of my pockets, my purse, my bag, my backpack, I’d be able to pay off my med school debt. You could trace my very steps with the trail of personal belongings I am constantly leaving behind. And still, not once has someone taken this as an invitation to grope me. Hell, I had a boob fall out of my bra once and no one tried to cop a feel.

There’s something about Evan, though. He’s five feet, eight inches, one hundred and fifteen pounds of pure gorgeous, and people just can’t keep their hands off him. Even I have grabbed his ass and, maybe once, rubbed his chest a little bit. Me, the epitome of self restraint, unwittingly drawn in by his animal magnetism. It's hard to believe, I know. But, like I said...there's just something about him.

We left the restaurant around 7:30 pm and caught a train uptown. We weren’t in any great hurry because we knew the musical started at 8:30. By we, I mean everyone but Graci. She kept whispering, “Are you sure it’s 8:30? Because I really think it starts at 8:00. I think that if we don’t run, we’re going to miss this show.” Evan had the tickets in his pocket. In order to placate her, I finally asked him to check the time on them again.

It was then that we began the running.

Evan was on my left. Blake was out ahead of us, looking for all the world like an Olympic speed walker. I turned to my right to say something to Graci, something like, "I always wondered what he might look like if his ass were on fire. Now I know.” When she wasn’t there, I spun around, fully expecting to find her a few steps back, cursing her short legs.

There was a sea of people behind me. But no Graci.

“Oh my God,” I said to Evan. “Where the fuck is she?”

She doesn’t walk as fast as I do, and I assumed she just couldn’t keep up. “Go on ahead,” I told him. “I’m going to find her and we’ll see you there.” He ran to catch up with Blake. I stood on the curb and watched the crowd walk by, scanning the faces for her. Still, no Graci. I started to walk back towards the subway stop. With each step, I got a bit more panicked. Suddenly, missing the show was the least of my concerns.

Just as I'd convinced myself that she had been stolen and sold for parts, my phone ran. It was her. “Where the fuck are you?” I yelled. Because nothing says, I'm glad you're okay, quite like screaming obscenities.

“I’m up here with Blake,” she said, nonchalantly. “Where are you?”

“Never mind,” I said. “I’ll see you at the theater.”

I’d like to take a moment here to apologize to what I’m sure was a very nice man from Kansas who I may have, shall we say, jostled out of my way at the corner of 43rd and 7th. The thing is, running through Times Square at 7:53 on a rainy Saturday night in high heels is a take no prisoners kind of sport, and that was just not the best place for you to stop and pull out your map.

A few blocks later, I called Evan to ask where they were and figure out how far I had to go to catch up. As it turned out, they were on the other side of the street. Two blocks behind me. “How the hell did you end up in front of us?” he asked.

“Well,” I said, “you guys ran around people. I ran over them.”

In the end, we all made it to the theater on time. Three of us looked like theater goers. One of us looked like she’d just sprinted ten blocks in the rain and side tackled a grown man to the ground.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A weekend in New York: Chapter one

When Blake and Evan started talking about going to see Wicked, I sort of thought it was just one of those things—one of those things you talk about doing but never actually get around to. I did hope to be back in New York this year. It’s centrally located between here and New Haven. I figured that Graci and I would meet there when we could find a weekend off and a reasonable deal on a hotel. She and I would stay a few days, walk around the city, drink coffee, chat, drink beer, chat some more, hang we do. I thought that would be the extent of it.

When Blake and Evan mentioned Wicked, I was all over it. “We should do that!” I said. “I love that show, and Graci has always wanted to see it, too. She’ll have to come down for the weekend.” Then, before I knew what was happening, we were really doing it.

I’m going to have to make a note of this bizarre actually doing the things you say you’re going to do phenomenon on the off chance that they someday suggest, say, robbing a bank. Or worse, camping. I tend to reflexively agree with nebulous plans, confident that I’ll never actually have to break any federal laws or sleep on the ground. Not with these two, though. These two really do the stuff they talk about doing. Like I said…it’s completely bizarre.

Not only do they do these things. They plan them. Evan texted me last week, days (days, I tell you) before we would actually be consuming the meal, to ask where we were going to eat on Saturday night. “Do we need reservations?” he wanted to know.

I called Graci. “Well, shit,” I said. “They want to plan the weekend. The whole weekend. Planned. Evan asked me today where we were going to eat. I was thinking, uh, I don't know. Somewhere that serves food close to wherever we happen to be when we’re hungry.

You know, when they went to Europe, they did stuff. They did Europe. They planned it, and then they did it. I’ve seen the pictures. They’re doing things in all 800 of them. Do you know what we would do if we went to Europe?”

“We’d walk around Europe,” she said, matter-of-factly.

“Yes. We’d walk around Europe. We’d show up, drop our bags at the hotel, and then we’d go walk around Europe. I mean, when we go to Florida, we basically do nothing for three weeks straight. We go nowhere. We see no one. We do nothing.”

“We walk around the beach,” she offered.

“That’s all we do. We walk around Florida.”

“Yeah,” she said, wistfully. “I love that. But back to dinner…can we go to Chipotle?”

“Um, I’m pretty sure that when Evan asked if I’d made reservations yet, he didn’t mean, ‘Do you think we can get a table at Chipotle?’”

“But I love Chipotle. And we still don’t have one in New Haven. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a burrito bowl?” she asked, with more than a hint of desperation in her voice.

“Listen, you and I can go to Chipotle on Sunday before we leave. Saturday night, though, I think we’re going to have to eat at a real restaurant. Somewhere they take reservations, perhaps.”

She sighed. “Alright…as long as at some point during this weekend we can get a burrito bowl.”

“Deal,” I said.

I got off the phone, shook my head, and laughed. They wanted me to find a place with a nice wine list. She wanted to eat at a Mexican fast food chain. I probably should have been a little worried, but something about that amused me.

On Saturday morning, I met the boys at their apartment and we headed for the train station. At the train station, we caught a bus to New York. (And you thought we’d be taking a train, didn’t you? Yes, well, in hindsight, they may have been a better plan.)

The Bolt Bus runs in between Baltimore and New York. The word Bolt and the accompanying streak of lightning painted on the side seemed to imply that this trip would be happening with some speed. The implication is there because, well, have you ever seen slow lightning?

I have, actually. It is painted on the side of a bus that runs in between Baltimore and New York. This particular bolt of not-so-greased lightning arrived a half hour late and then sat on the side of the road for another twenty minutes while the driver mounted his soapbox and delivered an impassioned speech on the annoyance of cell phones—a speech I missed, for the most part, as I was busy, checking my voicemail.

Blake, Evan, and I were some of the last to board the bus. We looked for three seats reasonably close to each other and found them in the back. Blake and I ended up in aisle seats across from one another. Evan was behind us on the end of row of three, the last row on the bus. He had a couple of young marrieds on his left—a guy with longer legs than any single bus seat could contain and some lovable little idiot he called his wife. On Evan’s right was the door to the bathroom. Whenever someone opened it, he had to crawl into the leggy guy’s lap to avoid being smacked in the forehead with the door.

Blake had a somewhat similar experience in that the girl next to him spent three hours trying to crawl into his lap, just because she thought that might be a nice place to sit.

Thus began a series of frantic texts messages that went like this…
She’s touching me.
She’s touching me A LOT.
She won’t stop.

I tried to comfort him by saying things like…
What can I say, man?
You’re a handsome fella.
She wants you.
She wants you bad.

He threw up in his mouth a little.
I resolved to quit bitching about how much I pay for my texting plan as this made it worth every penny.

I was sitting next to a perfectly lovely, well-groomed woman in her 30s. She stayed in her own space and was not at all fidgety. Unfortunately, she clearly wanted to chat a bit. This necessitated a change in seat assignments.

She was grading papers. Evan is a teacher. They had something in common. Plus, he’s sweet and charming. He wouldn’t mind making small talk. It was a match made in bus trip heaven. She looked a me a little funny when I turned around and motioned for him to trade me seats. I wanted to say, “Trust me, lady, I’m doing this for you. You’re going to love this guy. I love this guy, and I don’t even really like most people.”

In truth, of course, I was doing it for me. The nagging guilt from blatantly ignoring her obvious need to chit chat was gnawing at me and keeping me from fully enjoying my book. And, given the choice between making small talk with a stranger and being smacked in the forehead repeatedly with a bathroom door, I will choose the bathroom door. Every time.

Evan and I switched seats. Some guy who had consumed more Gatorade during the first half of the bus trip than my dad did during his last marathon headed my way. As he reached for the bathroom door, I scrambled into the lap of the leggy dude next to me. A baby started to fuss nearby. The leggy dude’s wife turned, gazed up at him with her big doe eyes, blinked a few times, and asked, “Why do babies cry?” He looked at me in desperation. It was look that said not, How do I explain this? but rather, Why did I marry this? I shrugged my shoulders and went back to my book.

A couple hours later, we were in New York. I had been in and out of a guy’s lap more than an industrious stripper. Evan had made a new friend. Blake had unwittingly gone to second base with the girl sitting next to him.

On that note, I think I’ll stop here for now. Blake’s not much of a reader. Before he started my blog, it was pretty much just cereal boxes and his own Facebook page. Remember when you first started reading? You didn’t dive right into Anna Karenina. No, you began with tiny chapter books. They slowly eased you, the young reader, into novels. Similarly, I think it’s best that I don’t make these posts too long, so as not to overwhelm my friend. I would hate to discourage the guy before he gains the confidence to tackle, say, a whole People magazine.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your people will think you're dead

Graci called me last night and said, "You remember when you first wrote about me in your blog? It was that one time when I told you that you had to write something or your people were going to think you were dead. Well, now they do. Have you seen those comments? They think you are dead."

And then, with her special brand of supportive encouragement, she said, quite simply, "BLOG, BITCH."

So here I am, a blogging bitch. After so much time you'd think I'd have a lot to talk about. But, as it always the case when I stay away for too long, somehow the more that happens, the less I have to say about it all.

Speaking of Graci, I'm getting ready for a little weekend trip during which I get to see her. The very thought of it makes me unbelievably excited--dance around your kitchen squealing like a girl excited--and a little bit scared. I say scared because I know how Graci hugs a person she hasn't seen in awhile. It's like handing a frog to a toddler. She'll squeeze me until my eyes bug out and I pee on myself a little. I'm looking forward to every incontinent minute of it.

In between getting ready shit (laundry, dishes, a haircut, and the like), I'm going to try to post a snippet or two--little pieces of things that have happened over the past few weeks.

And he's pretty much been ignoring me ever since

A funny thing happened on the way to Blake reading my blog...namely, a month of him not ever actually reading my blog.

On the morning of October 26th, just after I had written my I know you all think I'm one bad ass motherfucker but I'm secretly an intermittently lonely and incredibly vulnerable chick only cleverly disguised as a bad ass motherfucker post, I walked into work to get report from Blake who was working nights. He said, "I've been searching for your blog for the last hour."

I said, "What do you mean you've been searching for it...I sent you that text telling you where it was a month ago."

"No you didn't."

"Yes, I did."

"No. You didn't."

"Yes. I did."

"No. You didn't."... and on that went.

Awestruck witnesses could not help but draw comparisons between the brilliance of this riveting tete-a-tete and the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates. The former was made even more impressive by its accompanied feverish search through our cell phone text message records for proof that I had, in fact, told Blake about the blog.

"October 5th. There it is. You said, 'Evan said that I should be the sham wow guy and you should be the hooker that beat me up for Halloween.'

And then I said, 'Evan is a genius. That would actually make for a great blog post. Speaking of Terroni and look for the one that's not an Italian eatery.'"

"Oh that? I didn't know what the hell you were talking about, so I just ignored that."

"Well, that will teach you to ignore me."

Stupid fucking pheromones

So, there's this guy. And something about him makes me stupid. I actually have to avoid thinking about him in detail now so that I can tell this story with a real subject followed by a verb sentence or two.

He works on Friday nights, supervising admissions in the ER. The rest of the week, he manages a primary care practice in the suburbs. He and I met for the first time months ago. It was a simple, straightforward case. Diverticulitis. The physical exam revealed left lower quadrant abdominal pain in a post-menopausal slightly overweight woman who probably hasn't eaten any real fiber since 1984. The patient said, "My primary care doctor said that I probably have diverticulitis." The CT scan reading said, Hey Terroni, your patient has diverticulitis.

Simple. Straightforward. A high school kid with access to Google and a Grey's Anatomy rerun could have treated this patient.

I walked out of the room and headed for a computer to enter my admission orders.

Then, he walked in.

I don't know what it is about him. He's cute, but not empirically beautiful. It's not like when he walks into a room 90% of the women and 10% of the men swoon. But, there's something there...a pheromone thing, perhaps?

He said, "Do you want to go over this admission?"

"Uh, sure," I said. So far, so good. Notice how I don't yet sound like someone who's recently suffered a closed head injury.

"So, what do you think is going on here?"

And this is where it all falls apart. "Uh...I don't know."

"Ok. Did you see the patient?"


"And, did you see the CT results?"

"Uh huh, I saw those."

" do you have any ideas about what might be going on here?"

I was thinking, I know what I wish was going on here, and holy shit, lips that beautiful should not be allowed to be worn out in public. I stared at him. Studied him like he was a fucking piece of art.

He finally gave up on getting anything even semi-intelligent out of me and, a little deflated by his failed attempt at teaching, said, "Have you considered the possibility that she might have diverticulitis?"

"Uh...yeah," I said. "Sounds good."

We then painstakingly went through the patient's plan. A plan I had already written down but now could not articulate (or flip over my H&P form and simply read aloud) for the life of me.

Stupid fucking pheromones.

Fast forward several months to two weeks ago...

I was on call on Friday night and a had another simple, straightforward admission. I walked into the room, and there he was with the patient. I excused myself, pretending I had to answer a page. When he was done talking to the patient, I went in the room to do my history and physical.

A few minutes later, I headed back out with a simple, straightforward plan...and ran right into him. He was standing outside, waiting for me. We walked over to a tall counter next to some computers. He leaned on the counter and, as he did, bumped his head on a small overhead light. He laughed a little, looked at me, and said, "So...what do you want to do?"

I want to climb up you and lick your lips, I thought. That's what I want to do.

But a voice in my head screamed, "For the first time in your life, T, for the love of God, try not to say what you're thinking."

I stood there.

He smiled and repeated himself, saying, "Tell me what you want to do."

At this point, I actually got a little annoyed.
Seriously, I thought, would it kill you to rephrase that question? How can anyone focus on a patient when you're walking around the ER with those lips saying things like that? Good lord, give it a rest already.

We eventually got through the admission. When he walked away, one of the other interns looked at me and said, "What the hell was that?" She had been sitting at a nearby computer, watching the whole thing.

"Shut up," I said, "it's not my fault. Stupid fucking pheromones."

She laughed.
She's been laughing at me for two weeks since.