“So, you have no desire to get re-married?”
I sat in the small white office. It was as bland as the doctor I told my problems to. A diploma hung behind his metal desk. His desk was empty of clutter, the lone object on it was his desktop computer. Dr. Wilson Friskers peered over his glasses at me.
“Why not? Do you find being single a better choice?”
“No,” I said as I shook my head. “I think that God put some of us on the planet to be alone. I’m one of them.”
“So, it’s God’s fault you’re not remarried?”
“No. It’s no one’s fault.”
“Then why not pursue love? Are you afraid to try again?”
“I’m not afraid. Why waste my time trying to find someone and going through all the trouble? People aren’t real with their feelings. Why go through all the effort, when they won’t stay? I’ve been in relationships before, they all end the same way.”
“How do they end?”
“Usually, the other party pulls up and leaves like a whimper in the night.”
“They just leave. Don’t you stay friends with them?”
“What sense does that make,” I asked. The doctor looked at me like I was nuts. I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t made the leap to full-blown insanity. Part of me wanted to enjoy the full benefits of love. The other part was hell-bent to never experience anything to do with that dastardly emotion.
“You sound a bit jaded, son.”
“Yes. You’re very bitter.”
“And that’s why I pay you 165 bucks an hour.”
“And now sarcasm…”
Dr. Friskers, I called him Doc, was a middle-aged man who looked like life had taken him behind the woodshed on numerous occasions. His gray hair was parted on the left side, his goatee was neatly trimmed. Doc looked professional. Tired. But professional.
He cleaned his glasses and looked at me. His eyes showed zero emotion. I was just a number to him. At this point in my life, I knew I meant nothing to most of the folks in my life.
Which pushed me to the point I am at today. It was time for a change. Doc looked at his watch and put his glasses back on. He smiled.
“Our time is drawing short, Fredericks. Is there anything else you would like to get off your chest?”
“Well, I will see you next week. Does Thursday at 1300 fit in your schedule?”
He reached for an ink pen and wrote down my appointment in his small ledger. I stood to my feet and turned to go to the door. Friskers stood and extended his hand to me.
“Thank you for your service to our country.”
“Sure. For all the good it did.”
I walked out and looked up at the sky. The sun sat high in the sky. The brightness of the sun should have been blinding, but I didn’t notice it.
My silver Dodge Ram 2500 sat by the curb. I bought it after things began to fall apart. It was the one thing I was proud of doing since I returned from war. Someone had keyed the entire truck in a fit of rage.
“Probably a jilted lover. Lord knows they’re a full-blown horror show when things go bad.”
Due to the scratches and other minor flaws, I got the truck at a drastically reduced price. I didn’t have a problem with the scratches on the truck, it reminded me of me. We’d both survived our experiences.
Large white flurries began to fall from the sky. I got in my truck and opened the large console. Yellow pill bottles littered the bottom. A bottle of whiskey lay in the floorboard. I poured a handful of pills and washed it down with whiskey.
“Time to go back to work.”
I drove through the snow to my new duty station. If you’ve seen one military posting, you’ve seen them all. I’d arrived to Colorado in December from Bayern. My transition from Germany back to the States had not been easy. Everywhere I looked, I saw signs of decay. The society I had fought to preserve was nowhere to be seen.
It was just another day in hell.