Some many minutes (hours?) later a Brand New Pretty Female Doctor arrived to wake me.
I really was feigning sleep.
She introduced her lovely self.
“I am Doctor So-and-So and I am day shift. How are you, Mister Marcom?”
“Passing fair,” I said.
“We have all the arrangements made for you to go to Garland and get the help you need.”
“Groovy” was all I could muster.
“Well, Okay then. I’ll be right back.”
“And, I’ll be left front,” I said, but not out loud.
Several minutes later, she reappeared.
“OK, it’s all set. Just a few more minutes.”
As I was lying in my bed, thoughts began swirling:
Internal conversation and arguments inside my head:
“Lance, Cowboy, you cannot to Garland.”
“Why not? I need this.”
“Because you have obligations! Asshole!”
“What, which? What obligations?”
“You have the imaginary dog, for one.”
“Oh, yeah, that.”
“And other duties you must perform.”
“In Garland, you will not be allowed to drink.”
“Shit. You are correct Sir.”
“Didn’t think of that one, did you?”
“No. ‘Fraid I did not think this one completely through.”
More minutes passed.
The New Doc came in.
“Mister Marcom, are you ready to go?”
“I’m not going.”
“Not going… but you said…”
“Changed my mind. I have unfinished business here in Commerce.”
“Lance,” she said.
(suddenly we are on ‘First Name Basis’–well OK then)
“If you don’t get treatment, you may die.”
“I’ll study that later.”
“So, you just want to go back to your apartment and….”
“Yeah, ride the wave.”
“I think you are making a mistake. I do not think you can do this all alone.”
“Doc, you may be right, but I am gonna try.”
“Okay then, but know this: we are here for you if you need us.”
“Thank you. I know this. And I do appreciate all of Y’all, but I need to go home, to whatever it is that I call ‘home’ these days.”
“Okay,” she said. “I will be back with some paperwork for you to sign.”
Several minutes later, yet another pretty young thing appeared.
“Lance, the VA says they do not have you on record.”
“The VA says you are not in The system.”
“Impossible,” I said.
“No, we called them. They said you were not in The System.”
“Well, shit,” I said. Isn’t this a fine state of affairs?
“Here is their number. Once you get home, please call them.”
“Will do,” I lied.
Now, isn’t it funny? I could not get kicked out of the Navy when I was in the Navy, but now, I have been kicked out of the Navy.
After all these years.
Spacemen from Mars stole all of my money.
To be continued….
Chapter Ten here:
Chapter Nine here:
Chapter One here: