Dr. Graves waved a tongue depressor near my mouth and said, “Say ahhh,” Dr. Graves waved a tongue depressor near my mouth.
“Are you sure you want me to do that? I nearly killed my roommate’s canary with my breath this morning.”
“Julia, I’ve removed gangrenous toes from diabetics and digitally removed feces from constipated patients,” he said, wagging a forefinger. “I think I can handle your breath.”
“Okay, but don’t use the feces finger—and don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Opening my mouth wide, I said, “Ahhhhh.”
Dr. Graves peered inside my mouth and stepped back, wiping the tears from his eyes.
“I told you it was bad.”
“You did,” he said, wiping his eyes for a second time. “So how is the canary.”
He rolled his eyes, and said, “Your breath smells like spoiled hamburger, but I seriously doubt it would kill a bird.”
“You’re right, my breath only knocked him out. I ate him while he was stunned.”
He cocked an eyebrow Spock-fashion, and turned his back, briskly washing his hands and drying them with nearly the same vigor.
“Just be straight with me, Dr. Graves. What is the matter with me?”
“It’s complicated,” he said, stepping on the pedal to the waste can and disposing of the wadded towel.
“I do have a mirror. Not that I’m that keen to check my reflection at this point. My boobs are gone and I look like I’ve been lying in pond for three days. It wouldn’t surprise me to pull moss out of my ass. So spare me the this-is-complicated speech and cut to the chase. Am I dead? Because I think I’m dead, but here I am, walking and talking, oh, and eating other people’s birds!”
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