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The Good Doctor
--- Chapter 4 ---
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The Good Doctor 4

Sometimes the memory of a kiss lingers, playing again and again in our minds like a recurring song, a melody that insists on staying.

I drop Jase at daycare and he kisses me hard on the cheek and then runs from the car to the door. I imagine a car coming out of nowhere and careening wildly out of control with its massive distasteful chrome grill headed straight for my little boy. But he makes it inside safely. I know, I know, it’s all in my head! Maybe I’ll relax when he’s thirty.

--I can still feel Pete’s hand on my lower back as he kisses me goodnight. The rise and fall of his chest, his warm breath on my face. After the kiss he tilts his head slightly to the left and smiles at me.--

I press a button in my car and the chain link gate next to our warehouse and office slides open. Charlie, Jane and the warehouse guys are already here, more proof that I’m such a fuckup that I can’t even beat my employees to work in the morning.

--He moved my shirt away from my neck and then kissed me at the base of my neck. His hair was soft on the side of my face and his kiss in that spot sent a tsunami of heat through my body like a sun exploding slowly inside of my chest. I can still smell his hair.--

Jane nails me the second that I’m through the door. “Rosemont ain’t paid yet! You’re gonna have to call em again.” The cigarette smell coming off of her clothing almost knocks me over.

“Morning, Jane.”

“And that dufuss,” she waves a fistful of papers in Charlie’s general direction, “he’s sending em more right now. Now! As we speak!” I try for the millionth time to imagine her as the young attractive girl she probably was when my dad hired her like a million years ago. “Your father would have a hemorrhage!”

She’s never liked me because I’m not him. Adultery? With my dad, never! At least I don’t think so. I suspect that any adultery that went on went on in Jane’s head.

--Pete had pressed me up against the wall in the hallway to the garage, his whole body pressed to mine. He’s a bigger guy than he looks, a powerful chest and that thing poking me in the stomach felt pretty big too.--

I brush my hand across my forehead. “Okay, Jane, okay. Get em on the phone, put it on my line.” This same thing has been repeated every month since my dad founded the company more than forty years ago. It’s my dad’s favorite story. Rosemont Transformer was his first customer. As I heard like a zillion times. “Fifteen hundred dollars worth of soldering tips, Eric. Back then that was a lot of money. That kinda business didn’t grow on trees. But they’re slow pay. They were then and they are now. But ya deal with it.”

I pick up the phone and hear. “Eric, honey, how do you stand that old bitch?” The company was named Rosemont because of the lady that I’m talking to, the Rose in Rosemont. Her husband founded the company and then promptly died leaving her with a company that she didn’t understand and two small children.

She laughs like a Teamster. “And before you fucking ask, the check really is in the mail just like it’s been for forty years. Your old man shoulda fucked her back when that was still possible and maybe she wouldn’t be such an ornery bitch now. For god sake, tell her that nobody’s getting any dick, it’s not just her.” I could hear the smile forming on Rose’s face. “That is honey, unless you’re getting some.”

I laughed. “You really think that I’d tell you if I was? Too many people are watching my sex life already. This keeps up I’m gonna have to have a web site to keep everybody up to date.”

“Well, Honey, word has it that a certain handsome young doctor is slipping it to ya. Naturally a girl has to protect her sources but as usual mine are unimpeachable.”

I groan. “Tell me that the whole fucking world ISN’T talking about this!”

“So he IS slipping it to you!”

“Rose! Nobodies slipping anything to anybody! We’ve barely held hands!” My mind races through the list of possible squealers. “Holy shit, Rose, this isn’t my mother telling people this shit is it?”

She scoffs. “Don’t be an idiot!” That’s harder to do than she realizes. “You really think that your mom would be telling people that? Relax! I heard it from someone you don’t know and who, for that matter doesn’t know you.” She chuckles. “He is a dreamboat though. I guess you young people don’t call people dreamboats anymore but that’s what we used to call em. Like Gary Cooper! Woof!”

“Pete doesn’t look anything like Gary Cooper.”

“Well actually, Honey, he does. Not probably the Gary Cooper that you may have seen but Gary Cooper when he was young. You should be delighted, Coop was a major stud. My Fred got laid more than he ever knew because I’d be thinking of Coop. Not that I didn’t love my husband but sometimes ya gotta have something to get your motor running. Know what I mean, Honey?” She laughed loudly. “Look who I’m talking to, at your age you probably can’t turn the damn motor off! Well, if the next time I see you you got this all dreamy look in your eyes I guess I’ll know who put it there.”

--That kiss.--


Charlie, a few of the warehouse guys and myself are having lunch back in the warehouse where there are no telephones. Well, my cell but I’ll ignore it.

Charlie is a bit over weight and is dressed in overalls that give him kind of a sausage look. We’re eating a couple of pizza’s that I had delivered.

“Mr. Cortland, you didn’t really want us to hold up that shipment to Rosemont did ya?”

“Fuck no, Charlie! Jane just got upset but don’t worry, you did the right thing. Don’t ever let her talk you into stopping something that you think you should be doing. If you got any doubts call me on my cell.”

Charlie takes one bite that consumes half a slice of pizza. “She’s a nice lady, you know what I mean, Mr. Cortland? It’s just that sometimes she gets a little…………excited. She was that way when your dad was here too. Well, maybe not so bad but pretty much the same.”

The word “bitch” comes from one of the young warehouse workers and Charlie turns and points at him. “Andy! You know better than that! She’s a lady and she works with us! Maybe she’s havin a bad day but………….but she’s still a lady.”


I’m walking through our shipping department when my cell phone rings. Pleeeeeaaase be him!

“Eric.” Yes! Pete says my name differently than anyone else on earth, softer, warmer and something more.

“Hi, Pete.” I wanna tap dance across the floor. “I was hoping………….well, I was gonna call you but it’s been total shit here.” Did I mention that when he hugged me I could feel his nipples underneath his shirt.

He laughs. “I was just a little worried that………….well, like maybe I freaked you out last night. I probably should have waited. We haven’t really had much time together.” Oh fuck! He’s gonna breakup with me even before we’ve had sex!”

“Pete…………… made me feel good………knowing that you felt that way, it made me happy.” When he was kissing me goodnight his hands traveled down and held my butt. I buried my face in the crook of his neck.

“That’s all that I care about, Babe.” There’s that throaty quality again. It makes my whole fucking body vibrate. “I want you feeling good.” He called me, Babe. That’s the kinda thing you call your boyfriend.

Suddenly I feel all weird and confused. “So how’s your day going?”

“Well the flu seems to be working itself out so things are easing here a bit. I’m sitting in my office having a sandwich.”

I laugh. “Giving a lot of prostate exams?” Stupid ass thing to say! Where do I get this shit?

Pete laughs hard. “Actually, Eric, there’s a lot fewer of those given than you might think.” He was silent for a moment and then spoke softly his voice assuming a deeper more seductive quality. “But my technique is pretty good………….and I can be really thorough……………but gentle, you know like if you ever…………” See idiot! Now he thinks you wanna get fucked.

I laughed nervously but I was kinda hoping that he didn’t hear the nervous part. “Would you wear a lab coat while you were doing it?”

Pete laughed deeply. “This is probably a subject that we should………….probe more deeply at another time.” Oh yeah! He wants to fuck me!

I’ve never been fucked! But ever since that truck driver had his finger up there I’ve been thinking about. Actually more than just common garden variety thinking about it, more like fantasizing and maybe even……………well………….craving. The thing is that that morning that Pete showed up at our house with a pot of soup in his hands he had a “I wanna fuck you” look in his beautiful blue eyes.

Pete says. “What are you gonna be doin later?”

The words don’t seem to come outta my mouth and then finally I cough and that seems to help. “The gym.” I clear my throat. “I’m picking up Jason at daycare and we’re goin to the gym.”

“Jase isn’t weight lifting, is he?” He’s teasing but it takes me a couple of seconds to realize that cause I’ve still got fucking on my mind.

I laugh. “Nope, I’m doing that, Jase is gonna play with the other kids and then we’ll swim together. The pools heated. I’m a pretty good swimmer and I’m trying to teach him. You don’t think he’s too young do you?”

“No. No, not if you’re a good swimmer and Jase wants to do it. Kids can swim a lot early even than that but of course they need supervision.” He reverts to being Doctor O’Connor from time to time. It’s one of the things that I love about him. Love? Where did that come from?

“He loves it. Besides we get to spend some time together.”

“Well…………I was wondering if it’d be okay if I stopped by later tonight.” He sounded all concerned. “Unless you think that this is happening too fast. I don’t wanna push you.”

“Yeah! That’d be great.” Did I say that too fast? Maybe I shoulda been like all coy. But the thing is that I really really like Pete and I also really really need someone. It’s just too hard and lonely being by yourself. Having Jason is like a miracle, like a gift that nobodies worthy of but it’s not enough for that other part of me.

“I was thinking like maybe around eight? This is one of our late nights at the clinic and that’s about as soon as I could get there.”

“That’d be good.”

“Will I be early enough to say good night to Jase?”

“He doesn’t bug you too much?” Important question.

Pete laughs. “Yeah it’s really rough being hugged by a five year old.” He’s such an adult!


I finish my workout and go bail Jase out of the gym’s daycare facility. It’s really not too bad, there are usually a dozen or so other kids there for him to play with and he knows that I’m only gonna be forty-five minutes or so. We head down to the locker room and change into our bathing suits and then hit the pool.

My parents always had a summer home on a lake, they still do and it was because of that and because my dad was a great swimmer that I became one too.

I try and get in a few laps while still keeping an eye on Jase and then I launch him a few times. That’s when I swim up under him, lifting him up and launching him into the air. He loves it! All the kids do, I’m not the only dad doing it.

After that we shower and change back into our street clothes. Jase has even got his own little gym bag. I want him to get totally into the habit of taking care of his body and he really seems to love it.

Ten minutes later we’re walking into the house from the garage. My mom is making sure that we don’t starve and has laid out a dinner that’s bigger than either one of us wants to eat

She wipes her hands on a dishtowel and bends down to kiss Jason.

“Now boys you’re dinner is all set up and I have to be going.” Going? Since when does she just go?

“Mom, are you feeling okay?” She’s acting all fluttery and totally ignores me.

“Now Jason, sweetheart, you eat your dinner and then get into your pajamas.”

“Mom, why does he have to get into his pajamas? It’s only five o’clock.” She gives me this all panicky look.

Jason climbs up onto his chair and starts eating but then looks over at me and says. “Cause you and Doctor O’Connor are gonna have a sleepover right Grandma?”

“Mom? Could I talk to you in the living room?”

“Eric, honey, I gotta go, your father is waiting for me. You know how he gets.”


I practically have to drag her into the living room. “What have you done?” I’m practically spitting the words out.

“Sweetheart!” She touches my face with the tips of her fingers. “He went to Harvard! He did his internship at Massachusetts General! He’s perfect!” I’ll have to remember all that as his nine inch, well I can hope, dick is ripping into my asshole. Have I really made a decision about that?

“Mom, it’s like you’re selling me!”

“Darling, he’s perfect for you! He’s got an interest in that clinic you know!” Where does she GET this information, is there some secret cabal of mothers out there gathering information about possible mates for their kids.

The thing is, the disturbing thing, is that she’s right, she’s always right. The image flashes through my mind of mom in her blue print housedress sitting at a long table at Barnes and Noble using her dishtowel to carefully wipe off each copy of her book, Family Combat by Helen Cortland, a guide to tactical decision making for the modern family and then carefully autographing it in her tiny neat script. There are lines of less well-informed young mothers snatching up copies.

Jase has taken about ten bites and then wandered into the family room and is sitting in front of the TV. I kneel down behind him and pull him to me and kiss him. He doesn’t look up he’s used to it. He’s really a bottomless bucket of need that I could and will pour love into forever. It’s his right and he knows it. I know it too. In a way he’s the only thing that’s really mine and of course that won’t last, at least not like this.


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