This Malcom, was on my mind. Why didn’t medical people want to work with him? Was he like me? —hell, most people like me. I am a staunch believer, that a man with enough Southern charm, can talk his way into any room, and the quitters, of the lower life, don’t make it, because they don’t know how to talk. Going through my wardrobe, was like going through a cardboard suitcase. There was my tie. It was the same one I tied Suzie up with, when we did a little hanky-panky. Since then, I’ve gone celibate. That’s not to say there haven’t been other women—it’s just that they vanish in my mind when I think of Suzie. She was so small—petite, like a school girl, fully developed, and she wanted me to punish her in all kinds of ways… Oh well, when I think of Suzie, I can’t think. It’s more than being love struck. It’s…it’s… Oh, hell. I’ve got to make a good first impression. It sounds like I can learn a lot from Malcom. The fact that he can get where he wants to go, faster than anybody, has my respect. And he doesn’t take criticism from no doctor with an education.

The drive over in my Bronco was dangerous. I kept seeing myself shakin hands with the Ambulance Man. Do I present myself as formal, or would Malcom not like that? Heck, I could give him a straight dose of me, but he might not like that. I looked at my face in the mirror, and combed my genteel mustache with my fingers. I checked the yellowness of my teeth, while my car crossed-over the center lane, opening up the rage of America, right below the skin of a spoiled watermelon, bursting on the road. I corrected. That’s my talent, and my charm. It’s the other assholes that wound-up in the trees and the ditches. If you can’t drive, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. I drove stock cars. And the first thing they teach you, when miscalculating a turn, is how to avoid the wall. It’s a metaphor for life. You look where you want to go, and you press the gas—even when you’re going too fast. You won’t hit, if you keep your eyes on the checkered flag, and you’ll cross the finish line.

The hospital stood before me, like a Southern eyesore. Any amount of make-up, won’t make her beautiful again. Men get tricked by her face-paint, but lipstick on a pig, is still lipstick on a pig. I’m not a misogynist, so ladies who read my diary, must know, my feelings are absolute! And it’s okay for a man to have a diary, just as long as he doesn’t tell his male friends. There was an ambulance that pulled up to the curb. A man got out, smoking a cigarette. He had swagger—you can just tell. I needed to check in officially, but I wanted to see if he was my man.

“Sir, is your name perhaps, Malcom?”

“Yes.”

“I’m your apprentice. I need to check in, but I just wanted to formally introduce myself to you.”

He looked at my hand like it was a fish or a snake. “I’m not so much on shakin hands,” he said.

But I wasn’t offended. he didn’t say this like he was above me. He just told me the truth. Now—hot dang, how many times does a guy tell you the truth, without telling you the truth? It was profound! He was the truth, the way, and the life. I couldn’t believe I was going to be workin with him! “Just give me a few moments, and I’ll be right there,” I said.

“Take your time—the medical guys still need to load the blood and plasma. I figure—there’s going to be lots of blood on the streets tonight.”

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