9.11.12

"Hi-ya doc. You are a doctor, aren't ya?"

"Yes, that's what my degree says, at least." He talked slowly, his deep, full voice forming words that hung for a moment in the back of his mouth. He didn't look up, but stared intently at his right hand that was cradled in the left, turning his wrist back and forth, back and forth.

"Well, watchya doing down here, doc? Why don'tchya get on up to the hospital where you's belong?"

The two men sat in a dimly lit bar, both hunched over the worn wooden counter. Stale smoke hung in the air and saturated every surface. The twang of country music played in an endless story of love and loss and death and regret.

"I ... don't ..." The doctor attempted to respond, still holding his wrist, still turning it back and forth. Back and forth.

The man with the questions scrunched his forehead, lowering his face to catch the downward glance of the doctor's absent stare. But the doc was gone, lost in the recesses of his mind, wandering the caverns within his skull, searching for answers that were not there.

"Well, best of luck to ya, doc." The man hesitated as he rose from his stool, waiting for some acknowledgement. Shaking his head, the man patted the old bar and walked away.

"I don't ... belong ... anywhere." The whisper faded unheard into the smoke. He turned his wrist back and forth. Back and forth.

Back and forth.

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