My word count as a little low today, mainly because tonight my wife and I went on a painting date to a place called Creative Juice here in Tucson. The photo tonight is from my contribution. Considering that is the first time I’ve attempted to paint a picture since about the third grade, I think it came out OK. I did manage to get in over a thousand words before we left for our date night though, which still keeps my word count above the baseline for success. Tomorrow night we are going to a wedding, so fingers crossed that I make progress during the day.


Marshall Cooper

Day Six– 10253/50000 words

“Just a second,” he called out. Marshall had to move the couch from in front of the door. This took a moment as he positioned it back where it was supposed to be, on the wall oppose his bed.  He opened the door to find Catrin standing there. “Hey Marshall,” she said, “Did you want your booze?”

Marshall looked at her for a moment, and then he saw that she had his liquor cart behind her. “You left it in the van last night. Rainman had to help a friend move a piano, so he asked me to get it to you. It was a bitch getting it down those stairs.” Marshall kept looking at her and she fidgeted uncomfortably. “I texted you,” she said, “and then I tried to call, but no answer.”

“The battery on my phone died,” he said finally. “Go ahead and come in.:” He added, “I’ll get the cart.” Catrin walked in past him and he went out and rolled in the liquor cart, moving it into an empty corner.

“You should put the beers in the fridge,” she said, sitting down on the sofa. “If you leave them out too long they’ll get skunky.”

“I guess I should,” Marshall said. He grabbed the few remaining bottles and put them in the fridge.

“Your apartment is very sparse,” Catrin said.

“It’s less sparse now,” Marshall said, looking at the liquor tray and feeling like it said something about his apartment that he didn’t like.

“I didn’t sleep over,” Catrin said, “If that is what you were wondering. I came by this afternoon to hang out. We do that sometimes. Rainman is a nice guy but he’s too old for me.”

Marshall laughed. “I must seem like a fossil then. I’ve got ten years on him at least.”

Catrin laughed uncomfortably. “I didn’t mean it like that,” she said. After a moment she added, “I don’t even know why I said that. I just didn’t want you to think I slept with him.” Marshall finished putting away the liquor. He really wasn’t sure what to say.

“Rainman is a nice guy,” Marshall said. I haven’t known him for very long, but he seems kind, which means more in this world than most things. “Marshall headed for the couch to sit down.”

“You’re limping.” Catrin observed.

“It’s nothing,” Marshall said, “I twisted it on the way home last night. I’m sure it’s just a sprain.”

“I can take you to urgent care,” Catrin said. “My car is out front.”

“It’s nothing,” Marshall said. “I probably just need to wrap it.”

“Do you have a wrap?” Catrin asked.

“I have an ice wrap,” he said, “but I think I forgot to put it back in the freezer last night.”

Catrin got up off the couch. “Come on,” she said, “I’m taking you to the urgent care. No more excuses.”

Marshall didn’t remember giving any actual excuses, but he said, “Ok, fine. Just let me grab my wallet.”

“And put on some pants,” Catrin added.

Marshall realized then that he was still in his underwear. “OK,” Marshall said, “That was embarrassing.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Catrin said, “Nothing slipped out.”

“Good to know,” Marshall said. He put on some pants, waiving off Catrin’s offer of help. The two of them headed out of the apartment. Catrin drove a silver Infiniti sedan. Marshall assumed it was her parent’s car.  He could picture a moderately successful insurance agent driving around in an Infiniti. It was comfortable on the inside. Back when Marshall still had a car, he had been partial to Nissan’s cars, so the Infiniti had a familiar, if somewhat nicer feel to it. Catrin seemed like a careful driver, which was a relief given her age. Marshall still got nervous riding in cars.

The urgent care was near the mall, just a couple of miles away from the apartment building. Marshall went inside while Catrin ran next door to the Starbucks to get them some coffee. He filled out the paperwork. There were a lot of questions to answer, and he had to explain more than one medical situation on the form. This reminded him that he would probably need to find a regular doctor here in town. He wasn’t looking forward to that. It would require more questions, and explanations, and he would have to field ideas about how he should proceed. Marshall was tired of other people’s ideas.

There were a couple of people ahead of him, so he sat down in one of the chairs to wait. He went to grab his phone, but realized that he had left it on the charger back at the apartment. He wondered, once again, who had texted him the night before. Catrin showed up and handed him his coffee. “You said iced, so I got you that, but apparently they have a cold-brewed coffee now. I wasn’t sure.”

“This is fine,” he said, taking a sip. “I need to wake up. This should help.” After about five minutes, they called him back. Catrin followed him into the little examining room. Marshall thought about telling her no, but he decided he didn’t mind having her there. Marshall took off the shoe and sock on his left foot and rolled up the pant leg. A nurse came in and took his vitals. She had him stand on a scale and marked his eight at 199. Marshall realized that he had officially dropped out of the 200s. He tried to remember the last time he had weighed less than two hundred punts, and realized that it was probably in high school. He had always been a chubby kid, and it had just gotten worse as an adult. Sitting in front of a computer all day was one bad habit, and eating junk food was another. Back in Chandler, the delivery men at Barro’s Pizza had known him by name.

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