Gregson was more himself, the closer he got to death, and maybe that’s why he chased things that could kill ‘im, but this time he didn’t have to chase anything. It was inside him. Hospital patients looked at Gregson like he was a god, or at least that’s what he thought. He was a spiritual being, closer to his true self than he had ever been before. Men kept staring at his manhood, so he chose to spare their esteem and put a robe on. It made him feel like Sherlock Holmes or a mall flasher; he couldn’t decide. Oh well, the quest for the orchid was dangerous, if not impossible, a fool’s errand. And Gregson was part fool. The foolish part of him relied on luck; when he didn’t know what to do, he trusted it to guide him.
“Sir, will you be checking out?”
“Yes; and I need you to chart me a flight to the Amazon.”
“Stop him. Don’t let him leave!” The nurses shouted.
The intern looked confused. “It’s only my first day. What do I do?”
“They want me to stay while I shrivel into an adult baby,” Gregson said. “Don’t listen to authority.”
“He doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s got chemo brain.”
“My head has never been clearer. Call me a plane to take me out of here.”
The intern was being pulled in all different directions. She looked right and then left. It was the medical staff on the one hand, and then a man who spoke like a prophet with so much confidence he could have been running the hospital.
She faltered and then punched the red button. EMERGENCY sounds rang out. Gregson lunged for the sliding doors. If he had still been fat, he wouldn’t have made it, and there was a taxi.
“Take me to the airport.”
“Right away sir. You know, I have not been in your country very long, but you are unusually dressed.”
“Just drive buddy and the faster you go, the more I’ll pay you.”
Gregson wished he could take his words back when his driver hit 110 miles per hour, but then the airport was in sight.
“Amigo, wait a second while I check my lock box.” Gregson got his cash and passport. He left the silver six-shooter. “They’d frown if I took that onto the airplane.”
Gregson passed a large tip to the Indian driver.
“Two hundred dollars. I drive you next time.”
“You bet amigo.”
Airport security looked at Gregson suspiciously. “Do you have any items to declare?”
“Just my suit.”
“My birthday suit.”
“Oh, keep your robe on.”
Boarding in 5 minutes…
Gregson never felt more comfortable on a plane. He was 100 pounds lighter and wearing a bed sheet.