Thursday, June 16, 2016


  One eye open, the other closed shut. The Van Man sat in the urgent care facility with a swollen face. He had a matinee performance just hours away and some allergic reaction on his mug, his money-maker. But even with an Elephant Man facial, the show must go on.
  The nurse kindly escorted Van Man into the evaluation room. He had seen two too many of them in the past six months. He explained his sudden condition to the nurse and she assured him the doctor would be in shortly. Van Man glanced around the room and used his filthy fingers to spread his swollen eye lids, loosening up the swell. A large, barrel of a man entered, smiling and bouncing with each step. Head and beard of grays and whites. Thick glasses that magnified his eyeballs. And rosy, red cheeks. Not quite Santa, more Jerry Garcia.
  "Hiya, what's wrong with you?", asked Garcia. Van Man looked up and described his situation.
  "Allergies, yep. Is it anywhere else?", asked Garcia.
  "No, but I itch across my body some", replied Van Man.
  "Take off your shirt", demanded Garcia.
Garcia was a doctor, but something in his voice made Van Man slightly uncomfortable. With one strong yank, Van Man popped open his shirt, a snap-buttoned flannel. And he popped it open to his navel like one of those dancers. In Van Man's mind, snaps were meant to be snapped severely.
  "That’s good, you don't have to take it all the way off", said Garcia, resting a hand on Van Man's shoulder. Garcia took a quick glance at Van Man's neck.
  "A little red, but that should go away. Just make sure you don't shave"
Van Man looked down at his exposed torso. Then back up to Garcia who widened his eyes and lifted his bushy brows. Twice. "I mean your chest", stated Garcia as his eye brows twitched up and down.
  "I'm going to give you a steroid. It should reduce the swelling"
  "Cool", replied Van Man.
  "I want you to only use hypo-allergenic products from now on. No parabens. Do you know what that means?", asked Garcia. Van Man nodded yes. He did not.
  "Good. Remember, no parabens.  You have sensitive skeeeeeeiin", said Garcia as he walked out of the room.
  "Well, I'm a sensitive person", replied Van Man as the door shut. He looked around at the walls, curious if Garcia's twitches were involuntary tics. His face was sore and he needed his mug back to normal. There was a matinee to be performed and the show would most definitely go on. The Van Man felt relief and buttoned up his shirt.

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