Fastidious As He Is
Robinson doesn’t take enough care of himself.
Yet, How tawdry, he thinks, when he thinks of ill-health.
Sinusitis, colitis, stress disorders: dirty suits he can’t take off.
He’s not afraid of pain, per se, but rather the anticipatory fear of pain.
It’s not until he sees blood with the piss in the toilet water that he finally goes in.
The consulting room is stilted, airless.
The doctor says his condition is involute—just another way to say it’s complicated.
He must stay for a week to be sure the meds work.
How perverse to be so sick when the weather’s so clement.
Robinson’s self-pity can only be gratuitous, but he knows it’s gratuitous. So.
From his window he watches sun glint off the kidney-shaped pool in the courtyard.
The sleeping pill makes it so hard to stay awake.
Robinson really does remember a time when things were more wholesome.
But it’s an invented memory he sees in his delirium: sweet corn swaying in a backyard breeze.
The good feelings of the past fall away in a striptease.