Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Doctor Is In
Sitting in my favorite watering hole one Friday afternoon after work; a slender, wiry man stumbled into the building and stood for a few moments. The middle-aged man clothes were disheveled, and his hair was tossed about his head. He surveyed the medium-sized dining establishment and nearly jumped out of his skin when the heavy door closed behind him. The wait staff stared at him with a wide-eyed expression. Maria, the young bartender, wondered if she should serve him a drink while I guzzled my Jim Beam bourbon with a splash of water.
The wiry man carefully placed one foot in front of the other and made his way to the immaculate oak bar adorned with turquoise colored tiles. His walk to the bar reminded me of someone taking a sobriety test for a police officer. Once he sat on a bar stool, he asked aloud, "Can I have a drink, please?" Hesitantly, Maria asked for his drink order.
"I'll have a Martini," the drunk man replied.
"Okay. Coming up,"replied Maria. She then looked in my direction and asked, "Charles, would you like another drink?
"Is the Pope Catholic?"
Releasing a soft laugh, Maria asked, "Okay. Do you want it with a lime or lemon?"
"Neither. I had fruit for lunch," I replied. She refilled my glass and seemed to have disappeared into thin air.
Looking in my direction, the man asked, "Hello. What's your name?"
"Charles," I replied. "Yours?"
"Well, it's good to meet you, Ralph."
"Same here. How long is it going to take for me to get a drink around here?"
"It looks like you've had several already," I thought.
Ralph asked, "Can I tell you something....what's your name again?"
"That's right - Charles. I'm not drunk. People always think that I am."
"Oh yeah?" I replied. "Why would they think such a thing?" I asked myself.
"Yep. I'm actually not drunk like everyone think I am," said Ralph as my buddy Denny Crown entered the bar. He sat on the other side of me and ordered water on the rocks. I had hope that he would be able to drive home safely after drinking all of that water.
"Oh yeah?" I repeated. "Why is that?"
"I suffer from anxiety attacks. I was going to see a therapist two days a week...: Ralph started to say when Maria returned with his Martini. He continued, "Finally. As I said before, I was seeing a therapist two days a week. But, my anxiety attacks got so bad I had to go five days a week. Plus, my cancer medication made my attacks even worse."
"Oh really?" I offered while trying not to laugh. I think the liquor made this encounter a little humorous for me. Denny began to giggle while he consumed his water. Ralph wanted to continue his thoughts.
"I have to pay my therapist one-hundred bucks a session, and my contracting business took a hurting from the economy. But, it's picking back up. Five-hundred bucks a session is a lot to be paying someone. So, my therapist had an idea," Ralph said as he focused his attention on swallowing the Martini in one long gulp.
I whispered to a laughing Denny, "I know I'm gonna hate myself for asking him what is the suggestion."
Ralph released a belch and said, "My therapist told me to find someone during the week to talk to."
"Oh yeah?" I repeated.
"Yep. And, it looks like that someone is you! You can be my bar therapist. I'll even buy you a couple of ......what are you drinking, again?
"Yeah, that's right - Jim Beam."
"Well, in that case; meet me here next week at the same time. You can have a one hour session for two Jim Beams," I offered with my best smile. Denny was now laughing uncontrollably.
Ralph and I shook hands with promises of meeting the following week. I then said to Denny, "I'm going to place a sign on the bar. It will read, "The Doctor Is In. Fee: Two Jim Beams with a splash of water."
Denny laughed so hard that he fainted on the oak and turquoise accented bar.
Until next week...Keep praising HIS name!
(Just in time for Mother's Day - All of my books and ebooks are available at http://www.iuniverse.com/ and http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee. They will also make for some nice summer readings. Just saying...)