tripping: part 3: the mandatory trip to urgent care


Every single
fucking
time
you cross a state line
a kid will get
a rash
somewhere
tricky

and a fever
may or may not
pop up
to about
104 degrees
on the first sunny day
of your beach vacation

sending you to Urgent Care
where
you imagine
everyone else is a professional surfer
here to address
a shark bite
or possibly herpes
because
surfers.

But you will sit
in a blonde wood chair
across from
Mr. Norman,
Mr. Frank Norman.

His bald head
drooping jaw
diapered bottom
and unapologetic farts
make him the 91-year-old twin
of your febrile infant.

And he should be wearing a sign
that says
I am
your
future.

In this place
you will bear witness
to the parade of human misery
until
hours later
you will find yourself
like Mr. Norman
staring vacantly at the new guy
who just walked in
tanned
handsome
tracking in sand
and spatters of seawater
veined with blood.

There is no escape
you think
Life is meaningless 
and death comes for us all.

all while sitting
in a blonde wood chair
flipping through a complimentary issue
of "what to do in San Diego!"

But the kid
will be just fine.

There's something about Urgent Care
that combines rashes and high temps
with time
to churn out
an existential
catastrophe
every time.

and it seemed to me
that I lived my life
like a candle in the wind
never knowing where the other sock was
when it was time to get in the car
And once, just once I would have liked to have
a vacation
without a doctor in it...
but my candle burned out
in one of Mr. Norman's farts
I'm not even joking
The farts
THE FARTS

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