Not Drowning, But Waving Casey Confoy Macro-Fiction

map Not Drowning, But Waving

by Casey Confoy

Published in Issue No. 242 ~ July, 2017

I was watching Dexie hold his breath underwater, pretending to time him, when I spotted an old friend standing in the shallow end, nursing a drink. I made my way over.
“Fuzzy F,” I said. “I thought that was you.”
“That’s Dr. Fuzzy F to you,” he said. “Show some respect.”
“Of course,” I replied. “Dr. Fuzzy it is. How goes the back cracking business these days?”
“Adjustments,” he said. “They’re called adjustments.”
“Of course they are,” I said. “Of course.”
“Business is brutal,” Fuzzy said. “Between the insurance, the paperwork, all the goddamn taxes, I’m barely surviving. The government, it wants you to fail.”
“Really,” I said. “I hadn’t heard that.”
“And the patients,” Fuzzy said. “They’re more trouble than they’re worth. Everybody is out for themselves these days.”
“Didn’t I read something about a lawsuit?” I asked.
“The media is out to get you,” Fuzzy said. “Those rotten reporters are no better than vultures. They swoop right in on the bad news, not a word about all the good you do.”
“You got off, then?” I inferred.
“Naturally,” Fuzzy said. “The whole thing was totally without merit. That woman came on to me, right on my exam table, flaunting herself. What was I supposed to do?”
“What could you do?” I asked.
“And it cost a fortune to fight her baseless allegations. The lawyers, they’re another story entirely. I should have gone into that racket,” Fuzzy said. “I’d have been much better off.”
“I thought I also read about an old man with a broken neck,” I said.
“Oh,” Dr. Fuzzy said. “That guy. It came out that he had brittle bones. Some sort of calcium deficiency. It’s not my fault he didn’t drink enough milk when he was a kid. And the widow was the worst sort of gold digger.”
“Still, you must be doing OK,” I said. “This country club isn’t cheap.”
Fuzzy laughed.  “You think I’m a member?” he said. “I wouldn’t give those stuffed shirts a nickel to join a place like this. The pool is too small, the golf course is overrated, the restaurant stinks, and the members are very stupid.”
“Stupid?” I said. “How can you tell?”
“I’ve been signing myself in as guest all summer and nobody’s blinked,” Fuzzy said. “I even sign for my drinks. A round of golf, a swim, a couple of drinks, all on the house.”
“I hope you tip, at the least,” I said.
“What kind of person do you think I am?” Fuzzy responded.
“Who can really know someone else?” I said. “And by the way, speaking of someone else, I hope you haven’t been signing in as Tom W.”
“Of course not,” Fuzzy said. “I’m Henry Cabot Lowell, Esq. Why do you ask?”
“Just making sure,” I said. “And because I’ve been using Tom W.”
“They say Tom W. is depressed,” Fuzzy said. “He’s not working. His wife left him. He’s lost interest in everything. Rarely leaves his house.”
“I’d heard something along those lines,” I said. “That’s why I figured he wouldn’t mind me using his membership. Or, at worst, he wouldn’t have the energy to complain.”
“Hey, I’m going to give you a call next week,” Fuzzy said. “I’ve got a proposition. It’s a great scam, foolproof. We can clean up.”
“I better move on, I think my boy may be in a little trouble,” I said, pointing to Dexie who was beckoning from the deep end. “I’ll have to get back to you.”
“Don’t wait too long,” Fuzzy said. “If we don’t act soon I may go under.”
“Everything all right? I asked Dexie. “I saw you waving to me.”
“I’m fine,” he said. “I was just getting bored. Who was that man you were talking to all that time?”
“An old friend of mine,” I said. “He’s sort of a doctor.”
“What were you talking about?” Dexie asked.
“He’s got some ideas on how to stay afloat,” I said. “He wants to tell me about them.”
“He wasn’t floating or swimming,” Dexie said. “He was just standing in the water.”
“I noticed that,” I said.

account_box More About

Just someone who writes stuff.