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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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Out of Town 

Famed for his unedited spontaneous prose, Jack Kerouac would hit the road in any type of vehicle and get inspired. He'd write what he saw and felt, using a long dash to connect his phrases, likening to his taking a breath.Similarly, I, too, indulged in automatic writing, was prone to travel, more so though via public transport; and when I scribed I preferred a period indicating I'd ended a thought. Punctuality-wise we diverged, yet once, in our effort to get out of town, we chose the same route. .

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Until We Don't 

Whatever coping skills we have, we use. Look at how Stan managed. And he had a big problem. I didn't know him, but we shared a common friend. She was Julie. He had invited her to go on a three-hour evening sail on the sloop the Clearwater; the one associated with Pete Seeger and his desire to clean up the Hudson River. Though it was Stan's idea to go, he cancelled. He had an emergency co-op board meeting. Julie asked me and I said yes, even with the weather map indicating a storm was brewing.

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