The Pharmacist

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The news reported the schools were closed. Starbucks closed its cafes. My favorite diner switched to prepackaged food. The library is only open a couple of hours a day. My office is asking people to work from home. The grocery stores are bare. The radio is doing multiple Emergency Broadcast tests daily. Cell phone companies are giving away free data and Facebook has added a “Check-in” button to let your family know you’re okay. But it makes no difference to me because I like staying home alone. The one thing I do need to do is fill my prescriptions. 

I wait in a line that’s full of older people and moms with kids. I’m not in any rush so I even let a few go ahead of me. There are four people behind the counter, two that run the register, one who helps the pharmacist gather the prescriptions together and bring them to the counter, and the pharmacist who stopped whatever he was doing to make sure that people understood new medicines and side effects and to answer the numerous questions about how this or that particular medicine interacted with this coronavirus. I watched them all move with a dancer’s grace around each other like they’d been doing these moves for years. 

Finally my turn. I get my prescription. No, I don’t need to talk to anyone. Thank you, and go home. The next morning there’s a knock on my door and it’s him, my pharmacist. I’m confused. He smiles sheepishly. Apologizes for just showing up and hands me a prescription bottle. Apparently they weren’t as smooth as I thought and some medication got swapped. We make the exchange and say goodbye and I watch him get into his car before I shut the door. I watch out the window though and he doesn’t move. He just sits in his car, occasionally glancing back at my house.

I can’t take it anymore and I walk out to his car and knock on his window, motioning for him to roll it down when he looks up at me, startled. I try to say something smooth like I just made a bunch of extra breakfast and he should come and help me eat it so I don’t have to throw any away. However, what comes out of my mouth is, “Would you like to come in and watch some porn on my flat-screen mirror?”

His jaw drops and he stutters. My face turns red but there’s no backing out now so I dare him with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.  He’s too shocked to move so I help by opening his door. He moves automatically and I have a brief thought that if he follows my unspoken direction that easily when we’re naked, today was going to be a good day.

I led him inside and once the door was shut we stood in my living room in heavy awkward silence. He had the aura of a man who was used to taking charge so I waited for him to say something but he just stood there staring at my chest. I sighed. He smiled.

He ended up being very good at following directions and we didn’t leave my room until the next day. As I whispered goodbye to his lungs with my breath I knew the next thing I was going to do was disinfect every inch of my house and body. He was fun, but nothing worth dying over. 

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