The Good Doctor 14
Pete is standing in front of the stove
cooking eggs and as is our tradition he’s in his underwear and I’m
standing in the doorway looking at him. He’s wearing
boxer briefs, he looks fantastic in them but briefs of any
kind are too confining for me. He’s also wearing a tee
shirt that drops from his broad shoulders and almost covers
his hard butt. He hasn’t really combed his hair yet just
kinda pushed it into shape with his fingers but it’s
still a little rumpled and somehow that turns me on. Okay,
okay, almost everything turns me on! But there’s something
special about rumpled hair and a rock hard butt in a pair of
white boxer briefs. What is it with white cotton over a hard
ass? He’s talking to Jase who’s wearing a really
snazzy pair of bright red briefs with a matching tee shirt.
“Did you ever see where eggs come
Jase is standing at his station by the
come from chickens!” It sounded like he didn’t
think that Pete knew that.
Pete shifts all of his weight to his
right leg and lifts his left foot and uses it to scratch
his right ankle. The white
cotton shifts. I wanna bury my face in that butt! Again! But
I digress. Pete looks down at Jase and smiles. “My mom
and dad have a farm! We could go out there and you could actually
go get the eggs out of the chicken’s nests. Wouldn’t
that be cool?”
Jase looks confused. “My dad said
that your dad was a doctor, like you.”
“He is, Jase, but they also have a farm out in the country.
It used to belong to my grandparents and when they died my
mom and dad had the house fixed up and hired a guy to run the
farm but we could still go there.” Pete carefully turns
Jase has got his left hand shoved down
the back of his briefs and is doing god only knows what. “Would
the chickens bite me?”
Pete laughs. “I don’t think so, Jase. They never
bit me. They squawk a lot though.” How can he be so nice?
“You mean that the chickens just
let you take their eggs?”
“Well, Jase, by the time you usually go to get the eggs
the chickens are outside anyway. At least that’s the
way that it used to be when I was little boy.”
“When you were my age?” Jase is staring up at
Pete. He looks like he can’t conceive of Pete being five
“How’s breakfast coming?” They both turn.
Pete gives me a little smile that tells me he enjoyed our waking
up as much as I did. Jase comes running over to me and more
or less climbs me until he’s perched in my arms. Little
kids don’t seem to have any conception that anything
they do to you physically might hurt but I have learned to
protect my balls.
“Hey kiddo where’d ya get
this snazzy underwear? Did I buy that?”
We both know that I didn’t and Jase laughs. “Grandma
bought it!” Naturally.
Jase is feeling chummy and lays his head
on my shoulder while I walk over to the toaster in time to
grab the toast as it
pops up. I look over Jase’s head to Pete and he flashes
me a smile and blows me an air kiss.
“Pete’s mom and dad have
chickens and we can go see the eggs!”
I was about to tell Jase that that’d be great when Pete’s
cell phone, lying on the counter, started to ring. Pete answers
it and his expression slowly changes and his shoulders drop.
His back is to us. “Okay………..okay………….gimme
When he turned to us his blond/brown
hair was drooping over his forehead and his eyes seemed to
reflect a confused sadness
that I hadn’t ever seen there before. He pushed his hair
back off of his forehead and said. “I gotta go….I
What’d I do? Nothing! I didn’t cause this and
I didn’t know what to say. It’s so fucking stupid
that we can’t come up with some appropriate word at a
moment like that when he obviously needs it but I was blindsided,
I just didn’t know what had happened.
I was talking to his back as he took
off for the bedroom to get his clothes. “What, Pete? What the fu…., what
happened?” Jase sensed it and buried his face in my neck.
My first instinct was to somehow isolate
Jase from anything bad and I took him back to the kitchen
and sat him at the table
and shoved eggs and toast at him. He tried to grab me but I
settled him back down. “I’ll be right back, Son.
Gimme just a minute.”
Pete came barreling out of the bedroom
tucking his shirt in and then grabbing for his suit coat.
He stopped suddenly and
I walked into his back. God I’m a klutz!
He put his hand on my neck. “It’s just a patient,
Babe. I………I……..well, I’ll
explain it later but I gotta take off. Doctor stuff!” Yeah
right! Like I’m fucking believing that that’s all
that it is.
Seconds later and he was out the door.
and I slump down in the chair next to Jase. “It’s
doctor stuff, Jase. He’ll be fine later.” There
was no fucking way that he was buying that but he was pretending
to because I think he didn’t want me to worry about him.
Life is so fucking complicated!
I never thought that I’d say this but “fortunately” that’s
when my mother walked in the back door.
She walked over to the counter and put down three large grocery
bags and then turned to Jase and me.
“You’re still in you underwear?” She shrugs. “I
don’t know where you get that. Your father and I never
sat around in our underwear.” Thank all gods.
Jase takes two steps towards her. “Something made Pete
sad!” He scurries back and stands between my legs.
She nods at Jase. “You’re teaching him your bad
habits you know.” Me? What’d I do? Every time I
turn around someone is trying to blame something on me!
I pull Jase’s head back against my chest and stare down
into his eyes. “Am I teaching you bad habits?” He
smiles at me and nods yes. Great!
She stares at me for a second. “It’s Karen Morrisey!
She’s………..well,” She glances
at Jase for an instant, “she’s not doing too well.
If you know what I mean.” Where does she get all this
information………..the FBI? She starts pulling
plastic containers out of her shopping bags. The shopping bags
are older than I am. The woman throws nothing out. She’s
shaking her head slowly. “So young…………..and
the kids………..and Harry.” She waves
her hand. “I’m glad I’ve got my health!” She
looks around and gives the clear impression that my kitchen
is the place where her good health could be lost.
I get up and hoist Jase up into my arms. “We gotta get
ready. I gotta shipment coming in early today.” As I’m
walking down the hallway I realize that I don’t want
to let Jase go, that I want to keep him in my arms, safe. I
know, it’s stupid, safe from what, everything?
My office door is partially open and
Jane is talking to Ellen. “This
isn’t really something that we should have to do but
HE doesn’t want to do it so I guess we gotta.” She
drops the papers on Ellen’s desk and shifts her weight
to her right leg, her hand is on her hip. “I’ve
tried telling him a thousand times but OF COURSE, HE knows
best.” I’m ignoring her and simultaneously planning
I busted my ass this morning helping
Charlie and the guys unload and put away a huge shipment
of electric motors. That
was backbreaking but at least I didn’t have to listen
to Jane and was too occupied to worry about Pete. Doctors aren’t
supposed to get emotionally involved with their patients. Yeah
right! How the fuck would a normal person do that and would
you want a person to be able to do that?
Anyway none of that shit is important.
What is important is that the man I love is coming home tonight
and I don’t
know what the fuck to do. Is he gonna come home shattered because
this patient that he grew fond of died? Yeah, dead! Mom called
me with all the gruesome details. She probably has a copy of
the woman’s medical records. Fuck! I don’t know
what to do!! I’m not this smart!
Charlie walks in from the warehouse and sidles past Jane and
Ellen kinda nodding a hesitant hello to both of them. He shoves
his hands into the pockets of his blue overalls and slides
into my office.
“What’s up with them?” He flips his eyes
in the ladies direction. As he closes the door the women’s
voice fade to nothing.
I reach out with my foot, hook the bottom
rail of it and pull it over for Charlie to sit on. “Take
a load off.”
I lean forward with my elbows on my desk
and my chin in my hand. “They’re just being normal women. All women
are like fucking nuts! Believe me! Every woman that’s
ever been in my life has tried to make it a living hell. Okay,
okay, so maybe that’s not totally true…………..but
still. Even my wife……….well she gave me Jase
which is like the best gift ever but even she had her moments.”
Charlie is sitting with his hands still
in his pockets and the chair tilted back. He smiles. “Well, I guess from
time to time they do get a little…………odd.”
“Charlie, they’re just never ever happy. Whatever
you’re wearing is wrong. Whatever you’re eating
is wrong. Whatever you’re watching on tv is wrong. If
you’re taking a nap, you shouldn’t be. If you’re
not saying anything they wanna know why. If you’re talking
you’re saying the wrong thing. It’s fucking endless.
The thing that amazes me is that something like ninety-five
percent of guys aren’t gay.
Charlie laughed. “Well, Boss, there
are some other considerations.”
“Charlie I read about some tribe someplace, South America
maybe, where the guys lived together by themselves and the
women lived by themselves. They’d get together every
once in a while just so that there’d be kids but that
was it! If the kid was a girl she lived with the women all
the time and if it was a boy he lived with the women until
he was twelve and then was sent to live with the guys. After
twelve years with the women he was probably ready to cut his
Charlie laughs and then changes the subject
and starts talking about the motors we just brought in and
how we were going to
store them and who was mostly gonna buy them. After about the
fifth word I vegged. The motors were as good as sold so what
the fuck did it matter? Well, I’m thinking that a good
dinner can’t make things worse so I gotta defrost one
of mom’s best efforts. And wine, lotsa fucking wine!
I get Pete overfed and half blasted, how bad can life look?
Aaaannnnd, if I play my cards right I can actually come off
looking like a sympathetic, loving, care giving kinda guy!
Not that I’m not those things anyway but it never hurts
to reinforce the idea in Pete’s mind. After all he gets
to be those things all the time and I always end up looking
like an uncaring jerk.
Charlie is just rounding the bend, conversation
wise, as I refocus on electric motors. “You’re right Charlie!
And get the guys to watch how they package em. Those flanges
don’t look all that beefy and if those things start slamming
into each other during delivery we’re gonna get damage.”
“Dad, why are we makin everything so nice?” Jase
is carrying actual CLOTH napkins to the table. “Why don’t
we just use the regular paper napkins?” I’m stirring
my mom’s pasta sauce ( I decided to go with an old standby,
besides it’s heavy and there’s lots of carbs in
the pasta which induces relaxation.) and Jase walks over and
leans against my leg like I’m furniture.
I decide to tell him. “Jase, Pete had some bad stuff
happen with one of his patients, someone that he knew real
well and that he liked and that made him kinda sad.” I
put my hand on the back of Jase’s neck. “Remember
this morning when he got that phone call and then he had to
leave right away?” Jase nods yes. “Well that’s
what that was all about……………so
when he comes home tonight I just want it to be nice for him
so that he feels better.” I kiss his forehead. “We
can’t change anything that happened today but we can
try to make everything here as nice as possible. Okay?”
Jase nods yes and I pull him in for a major hug. God I love
him! How is it possible that I can love somebody this much?
I hear the door from the garage opening. Showtime!
Jase goes running to meet Pete who’s
walking in with his sport coat over one arm and a thick briefcase
in the other.
He drops the briefcase and scoops Jase up single handed.
Pete’s smiling broadly and buries his face in the side
of Jase’s neck. Jase giggles and twists in Pete’s
“You been a good boy today?”
“I have, Pete! I been really great!” Pete flashes
me a huge smile over Jase’s shoulder, one of those “I
love you and ain’t life grand!” smiles.
I’m lost! Where’s the devastated hulk of a human
that I was expecting? Did I miss something here? What’s
the damn point of all my caring and nourishing if nobody fucking
needs it? Well this is just typical! My mother probably called
him and talked him outta all of his problems and of course
she never bothered letting me know that the game plan was changed.
I coulda defrosted braised lamb shanks, I love em but I didn’t
know if Pete ever said if he liked lamb. If I had known that
he was all better I woulda taken the chance. I had visions
of holding Pete against me on the sofa after Jase had gone
to bed while he poured out his deepest feelings about the death
of his patient.
When Pete and I walked into our bedroom
we stripped off our clothes and then took a shower together.
Normally the shower
would be the starting place for sex but it wasn’t tonight,
some kissing but no real sex. He seemed to be winding down
and after I dried off and went to the kitchen for something
on the way back I caught a glimpse of Pete in the bathroom
mirror through the partially open door. The pain was there
for just an instant……………….merely
a fraction of a second when his hands were on the bathroom
vanity with the full weight of his body on them and his eyes
staring dully into the mirror. In that fraction of a moment
I realized how much of a price he was paying and what the effort
must have been to spare us that burden. Why couldn’t
he have been a plumber?
Pete climbed into bed and then rolled
onto his back and pulled his shorts off and dropped them
next to the bed. This was something
he had begun doing in case Jase came into our room early. It
was a fairly simple thing to reach down scoop up your underwear
and slip them on. That didn’t happen all the much but
we thought that we had to be ready.
Normally I would have crawled in in front
of Pete and then pulled him to my back so that he could hold
me but tonight
I didn’t do that. I waited for him to get in then I climbed
in and pushed him over on his stomach and sat on the small
of his back. Geez his skin is like velvet!
He twisted his head back to look at me
with a forced grin on his face. “Whadya doin?”
“Don’t talk…………relax!” I
leaned forward and started kneading his shoulders. It took
about a second and a half to fully get it that my cock was
laying in the crack of his butt and I got hard pronto but I
pushed it outta my mind.
His muscles were almost too tight to
massage and after a while I gave up and just stretched out
fully on his back. I guess
that somewhere in the back of my mind was the instinct that
maybe I could absorb some of that pain. My face was next to
his ear and shoving my hands underneath his chest, I said. “Will
you please let it fucking go?”
He didn’t say anything for a long time and then he said. “I
don’t know how…………..I usually
can do it but……………..somehow this
time it’s different.”
He sighed and his voice was slightly
muffled. “She should
have made it. It’s so common…………………..we
do this all the time. I told her that we’d do it…………..that
I’d be right with her and that we’d beat it. At
the end……………oh fucking shit!…………..at
the end all that I could do was hold her hand. A fucking failure!
I promised her and……………and I
“You gonna cry?” Honest, I wasn’t
being a smartass!
He grunted. “I did that earlier……………Mr.
I slid off of Pete’s back and pulled his face to my
chest. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant
if you needed to………..it’d be okay.” I
ran my fingers through his hair. “You know that you can
do that with me? Cause sure as shit eventually I’m gonna
be doing it. Aaaaaaand……….well it’s
kinda like with Jase. I mean before Jase the thought of cleaning
up after a baby with all the diapers and well………..baby
shit and vomit and thrown food and god you wouldn’t believe
some of the things. When he was two he smeared his shit on
the bathroom wall! But the point is………..with
Jase………..with anyone you love………..it’s
okay. And that’s what I meant, with you, the way that
I feel about you…………it’d be okay.”
He slid his right leg through my legs
and pulled himself up a little further and kissed me. The
pain was fading from his
voice and it was very soft. “I love you.”
I pulled his head to my neck. “Me