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A Perfect Pratfall  

I put on my gold bomber jacket. It was time to go. There were signs. The crowd had thinned and the invitation had read 6:30 PM to 11. It was 11. Besides, Clyde Frazier was a no-show; not that anyone said he was coming to his sports-themed bar. But his photos were a lure; as was that half-sized basketball court. He was, after all, a Knick. And for that reason this was the place Leo, my first cousin twice removed, chose to celebrate his bar mitzvah. There that thirteen year old was, surrounded by his cronies, laughing, dancing, playing games; his world far from mine. My set, the more moribund, hung out in the back, away from the noise. Our table's centerpiece was proof positive: a photo of Johnny Carson. He's dead.

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Blessed Unrest

What's your business is not my business. It's a truism which recently acquired my allegiance.From now on I'm staying behind an imaginary line. I don't know where that is but I'll find it. I'm tired of being accused of having boundary issues. Therefore, I'm blocking out all stimuli that would have formerly beckoned my intrusion. And Victor Smith I have to thank,though he'd have no idea why. He just sat there on the ledge, close to the front door of our building, moving not one muscle, his gaze down at his right hand holding his phone; looking like a ghoul.

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Against Nature

I don't know if I'm falling apart or blossoming, but my sciatic nerve's acting up. Other than lying down on my back with my hands clasped at my waist, as if auditioning for the role of one recently departed, all other positions bring pain; including standing, bending and sitting. It radiates from the middle of my left buttock down my left leg. Physical therapy has yet to help, except to learn slouching, with those rounded shoulders for hours on end in front of the computer, did a number on my hips and lower back. That's why I'm going to acupuncture and getting my tongue examined.

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Scandal in the Waiting Room

For 22 years I had a yearly check-up with Dr. Milton Radnor. He was my internist and my gastroenterologist; my perfect match. Both of my parents had cancer of the colon. And when he turned 80, four years ago, he announced his retirement. He wanted to leave before "I lost my edge." On Wednesday, of his final week, I was to have my annual exam. As I sat on the couch in his waiting room, glancing at the face of the man sitting on the chair opposite me, I felt certain I knew him from somewhere.

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A Matter of Interpretation 

"You're no spring chicken" was all Toby said, as her green eyes widened, and her pink finger nail extended out on a right diagonal, away from where she was, in the women's corner in Macy's, towards the teen dress section where I'd come. Over my arm was a red, orange and pink latex stretch number. The colors caught my eye, leading me to wrench it from the hands of a sixteen-year old who smirked, "That, for you? I don't think so" and Toby agreed. Her reaction, I attributed, was due to her being five years older, when in fact I had a problem. My desires had no expiration date. I put it back. Today, thirty years later, when Toby can't find a piece of poultry out there to use as a comparison for my age, I'm of the same mind.

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