Pat was having a bad day/week/life/eternity. I tried to cheer him up with something bad that had happened to me.
"So before I left for work the other morning, I got outside my apartment and suddenly realized that I didn't have my keys. They weren't in my pocket, not in my hands. I went back in. They weren't in my study. I thought, oh, maybe they were in my jean pockets upstairs. I ran up there, getting more late for work. Not there, and I got more panicked. Where could they be? Did I leave them in the car last night? I went down three flights of stairs and looked into my locked car, but the keys weren't in the ignition, which was a good thing. I went back up, just utterly perplexed. I looked around the couch, my other jacket, I looked in the trash, I even looked in the refrigerator! Finally, I thought I was going to have to call work and tell them I couldn't find my keys... Then I felt something in my left pocket. They were in my left pocket all along, a pocket I never put them in, but for some reason that morning I had put them in that pocket..."
Pat looked at me. "Yeah. Pretty rough."
"Yep. Heh heh. It was a senior moment I hate that phrase."
"I think my dad is watching me jack off."
"I don't know. He always seems to know what I'm doing. Like these water jugs? He texted the other day and asked if I needed to get more water. I turned and saw that the jugs were almost empty! How did he know that?"
"Doesn't he come by here every so often?"
"Yes, but... Do you think it's possible that he put a camera in here somewhere? I'm serious. I think he knows what I'm doing... Like in the knots of the wood, a small camera...?"
I dutifully looked around the kitchen space. Pat now lived in a small bungalow house in west Denver his dad had bought for him. He'd been living there since June and things were definitely improving with Pat away from his parents' house/control/madness. But he complained that his dad still owned the title to the house. And that he was still watching... watching...
"It would be pretty expensive," I said, squinting at the wall with its pattern of wood knots in the paneling. "Then again, your dad has a lot of money..."
"But I need to ask a favor, Gregory."
"Okay..." Uh oh.
"I had a visit with my allergist. Look at all these reports!" He landed several sheaves of paper on the table, laying them over my Latin text. "It proves that I have a metal allergy! Like to zinc and nickel and titanium oxide. You know they put that in toothpaste? So it's no wonder I have seizures! I've been brushing my teeth for years and making myself sick!"
"That's the good news. But I want you to call them and have them retract what they said here in my diagnosis. About 'Somatoform Disorder.' You see that? They only met with me for six minutes and he put that down about me!"
"What's 'Tomatoform Disorder'? Didn't L Ron Hubbard have that?"
"He's basically calling me a hypochondriac! And yet all these tests PROVE that I have these allergies, that I've had them for years! So can you call them?"
"I told them you were my medical proxy." Pat brought me his phone and dialed the number. "Just tell them they need to listen to me. That I'm a smart person."
Pat thrust the phone on me. "Just tell them!"
"Okay, uh... Hello? Yes, I'm Pat's medical proxy and... yes... and I want you all to listen to him. Also, he is a smart person."
Pat gave me the thumbs up.
"Who am I? I'm Pat's Latin tutor. Yes. Oh? Okay. Goodbye."
"Thanks for doing that, Gregory!" Pat gave me a big hug. Then we went into the bathroom where he had me watch him inject testosterone into his buttocks.
On Thanksgiving I went to Shotgun Willie's, where I watched skanks wrestle in a vat of mashed potatoes. It was good. So, so good.
Can you blame me?