Pat wanted me to be his medical proxy. He no longer trusted his father to make the right decisions for him medically, and now he wanted me, the most logical candidate, to do it.
"Will you?" Pat said. He looked at me with tears in his eyes.
I nodded. "Sure," I said. "No problem."
"Great. That will help me a lot. Also, I want my physician to identify my genitals."
"If I get in an accident, the city coroner will just see me as a slab of meat. And what they see is what they'll put on the death certificate. And if they check off F then the last eight years will have basically meant nothing."
"I mean, I'll be dead, so it shouldn't matter. But I want at least that to be done right. I interviewed the Denver coroner a while ago and she was a cold person. She had no sympathy for people like me. So in the event of my death I want you to get my physician to sign off on the death certificate. He's a good guy. He'll put me down as an M."
There was no time to start with third declension nouns as we had to get to the UPS Store where there was a public notary on a Sunday. The place was on Colorado Boulevard next to a trendy breakfast place crowded with hip pancakemongers.
"You'll have to bring him out," Pat told me when we got there.
I went inside. "Hi, I need a notary?"
The man took up his stamp and book. "Yes, I can help you."
"Great. But, ah, you'll need to come outside. The person you, uh, are doing this for can't be inside. The lights."
The notary looked at me.
"Yeah, he's just outside here."
The notary followed me outside. Traffic rushed by and people were standing in clusters talking about pancakes, and fucking them.
"Okay, these papers. It's a medical proxy form..." Pat held down the several sheets in the wind. "Okay... Um, artificial nutrition... Um... Let's see... Artificial hydration... These are a little confusing, the way they worded this. I guess I initial, and then..."
The notary stood by with his stamp and book. I was a bit amazed that Pat didn't seem to have read any of the medical forms first. There were seven sheets.
"Is this what they want? Does your name go here?"
I looked at the form. "I think so. And here you have to initial..."
"I can't do this," Pat said suddenly.
"I can't do this. He's staring at me. I can't think!"
"I have to watch you do this," the notary said. "It's my job."
Pat shook his head violently, eyes shut in pain. "And all this racket. No, no. I can't think! I can't do this!"
Pat gathered the sheets and walked off.
"Sorry, we'll try another time...?" I said to the notary.
The man looked at me as if we had tried to pull a prank on him--the world's lamest, saddest prank ever.
Pat got back in the car with me. I suggested that he make little notations next to each question so he'll be ready whilst the notary is staring fiercely at him. But Pat was done. He was completely flummoxed. He shoved the papers back in his folder and then into his brief case.
"Forget it. I can't do anything. Forget it!"
Pat held his face in his hands.
"Hey, come on, we'll do it next week. Okay? It's no big deal."
Pat said nothing.
"Ed sure has been getting on Todd's nerves these days, at the library."
Pat sniffed. He looked at me.
"Yeah? Isn't he the one who threw the book...?"
"He's always blowing his nose. Lately there's been bloody tissues in the staff restroom."
"You can imagine that Todd just loves that. The other day Ed was blowing and blowing, non stop, and Todd yelled across the library, 'STOP BLOWING ON YOUR ELEPHANT NOSE, ED!!'"
Pat laughed. He laughed so hard he almost fell out of his seat. It was the funniest thing he had ever heard. Later, we went through our Latin lesson at the park and then I took him home. Pat was in a good mood. Thanks, Todd!