Pandemic Journal, July 10, 2020
Tommy again. Our big news was that Poppinseed dropped in for a quick visit. We had to hold off all the women and a third of the men. He’s that good-looking. He’s had several good years now with the Wizards and has been their starting center since the first game of his second year. He passed on the gossip, of course. Muhammad had started medical school at Johns Hopkins on July first. Poppinseed himself was trying serial monogamy, and kept coming back to the same woman, Katy. We vaguely remembered her.
“At DCU her boyfriend was Larry, the guy who was friendly with everybody. You probably remember him for trying to give Logan a blow job at the first party your freshman year.” Yeah, I did remember. And not fondly. “Anyway, Katy left him when she caught him in a three-way with another couple. She recognized that she was jealous, and that wasn’t healthy. Especially about a dickhead like Larry. She’s matured since then, and moved to Washington.” Poppinseed stopped for a minute, then nodded his head before proceeding. “I’m thinking she might be the one.”
I broke out in a huge smile, called Logan over and asked Poppinseed if he wanted to share the news. He did. “Like I told Tommy, the girl I’m dating right now, Katy, just might be the one. We haven’t talked about it, but she’s practically moved into my place. We’re together in everything but a formal discussion.” Logan and I got up and put our arms around him, then slapped him on the back and the ass. I was tempted to leave my hand on his ass for a few seconds, but thought better of it. I love Logan, and we’re both happy that Poppinseed might have found love himself. Plus, he was straight. Dammit.
We were just closing up the clinic, and invited him upstairs for lunch. Evita, a translating nurse, was drooling, so we invited her along. Poppinseed’s Spanish isn’t very good, but she had enough English for both of them. Evita paid no attention at all to me or Logan, but was literally hanging off Poppinseed. She talked him out of his shirt at one point and was all over his pecs, sucking on his nipples, until he pried her off.
“Evita, you’re a smart, beautiful woman, and I’m kind of in a committed relationship. In fact, that’s why I’m up here. I came to talk with Logan and Tommy about my feelings, something I don’t understand real well. I think I want to skip the preliminaries and just ask her to marry me.” I was taken aback, Logan was taken afront, and Evita looked like her dog just died. She picked up our friend’s shirt and threw it at him, ran for the door and started crying. We could hear her until she got in the elevator.
“Did I do something wrong?” Poppinseed asked.
“Yeah, just being you. You can’t help attracting nearly every female and quite a few males when you show up. It’s a curse, but you’re coping well with it.” We all laughed uproariously for a good five minutes, then threw together a few sandwiches and had a beer each. Poppinseed wanted to catch up with Antoine, whom he’d met at the All-Star game. They’d hit it off immediately. I called Antoine, who was on the roster to drive the nurses home and was going to take Maia with him. Poppinseed took her place.
We heard gunfire. We were supposed to be in a safe neighborhood, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere that matches that description. Last Friday we’d had to treat two shooting victims, one of whom was driving a very pregnant woman to a hospital. Bad memories. After I was done for the day I came upstairs and cried in Logan’s arms. Now, a week later, remembering how strong my husband had been for me, I smiled at him.
Shootings are crazy here. They seem to be crazy everywhere in the city. Last weekend there were seventy-nine shot, and fifteen dead in a single weekend. There are war zones more peaceful than Chicago. I honestly don’t know what to do about it. We may end the month with more than eighty dead, almost all of them black. But the headlines are filled with rage about racist police shootings of unarmed black men, and claims of Black Lives Matter. I think it’s a lie. Black lives don’t matter unless their deaths can be used to make a political point. That’s bullshit.
OK, we’ve got messages. Lori L. asks, “Tommy, what’s your favorite position?” I’d have to say it’s shooting guard. On the basketball team I’m sort of a field-goal machine, accurate at the three-point range. We’ve got another message, this one also from Lori L. “No, stupid, not your basketball position. Your position, like missionary, doggy style or . . . “ I have to stop reading. Lori, none of your fucking business. Literally. Sorry about the language.
Another one from Daryl W. “What’s the status on your and Logan’s decision about adopting?” We’re still talking. Logan’s got law school ahead of him and that’s gonna take a lot of time and concentration. I mean, deciding which pocket to pick and how to do it, while chasing an ambulance, has got to be tough. No, stop it Logan. Stop it. You know how * giggling sounds* ticklish I am there. And, bring me back my shirt. OK, that’s it, Mister, the camera’s running, give me back my pants immediately. *more giggling sounds* CAMERA OFF