The Man Baffled By The Human Condition

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When the cop tore up the citation my relief was incalculable.

My day started sort of about 3:00 a.m. I awoke to see Charles standing naked in the hallway. He said he was trying to get read to see his doctor but couldnít. Wondering why heíd be doing that for a noon appointment I faded out wondering if Iíd been dreaming.

Awaking at 6:00 a.m. I found Charles in the bluest funk I could recall. It wasnít surprising that heíd been depressed and withdrawn after waking from his coma. His grudging, fractured replies to my questions gave me the willies. I felt as though I were trapped in a serious, dowdy and very bad play. I was The Man Baffled By The Human Condition.

After considerable digging it seemed that Charles main complaint was that he hadnít been able to find his shampoo and had to use the dogís. Having done that myself several weeks back and finding the dog shampoo serviceable I really was baffled. But the more I tried to get Charles to talk I came to realize he was feeling completely persecuted by life and probably resented having to breathe.

Thankfully by noon Charles finally snapped out of it.

Renting funny movies is one of my ploys for trying to keep Charles from spending his bad days moping about the house in a robe. If he hasnít shaved and decides to watch lots of TV it can be a disturbing sight.

As Charles pulled into the VisArt parking his Skylark drew a jagged red line into the side of a car. Driver inattention isnít covered by State Farm so we have yet another expense to find the money for.

Of course the police have to be called. Charles has already been warned to change his license to his current address, has an expired tag and ignored a prior citation. There was a long and dreary wait Ė mostly a cold wait, I hadnít expected to be standing outside for a long stretch and hadnít worn a jacket Ė while the cops wrote the accident report.

Then they called in his tag number. In skipping traffic court Charles had exceeded the minimum allowed Ďpoints.í His driverís license would be suspended. Durhamís mass transit is laughable.

I donít know if the cop really did screw up the citation. Maybe sight of Charles inspired pity. The officer told Charles that he didnít feel like filling the paperwork out again and that Charles could go.

Iíd been silently doing mental bookkeeping: lawyer, fines, cabs. We regularly approach monetary extinction. My relief as I said was incalculable.

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