Sep 142011
 
Authors: Justin Goodfellow

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of the fiction story “Inside the Hollow Sun,” which will run throughout the rest of the semester.

My session with Dr. Clermont didn’t go well the next morning. He made me unwrap my wrists so he could take photographs of the fresh scars.

“You’re symptoms are getting worse,” he said.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said. He just shook his head. It was a long hour for the both of us. He started suggesting extra sessions, and I argued against it. I couldn’t imagine spending more time in here with all of them. We reached an agreement: any more fresh cuts and I’d have to go to evaluation.

Evaluation is where the head panel of the trauma center reviews your file. They can give you a new therapist, multiple therapists, or even require permanent residency in the trauma center. Like I said, it was a long hour.

I waited for Elizabeth outside of office 533 after therapy. Her sessions ended later than mine. I watched people drag their feet through the hall. It always squeaked when they did because the floors were freshly waxed each morning. The sound made me clench my teeth.

“Harrison?” said Elizabeth as she walked out into the hallway.

“Hey,’ I said, standing up and offering my arm. Elizabeth reached out and grabbed it. She was wearing sunglasses again. She’d taken to having them on all the time. ‘I’d rather people wondered why I’m wearing them indoors,’ she’d told me. ‘Not wonder if I’m blind.’ We walked out of the building together and headed toward Moreno’s.

Greg usually met us there for lunch on the Mondays. It was a café that was roughly located between all of our homes, so it had become a place we liked to frequent. Greg already had a table when we walked inside.

“Afternoon,” he said.

“Hello, Greg,” Elizabeth replied. I patted him on the back and took a seat across from the window.
“Do you want anything off the menu today?” Greg asked Elizabeth.

“No, that’s all right,” she said. Greg and I had guessed that reading the menu out loud embarrassed her. She tended to just get whatever the special was for the day.

The waiter approached us a few moments later. “Hi, my name is Anthony and I’ll be helping you today. Can I start you off with anything to drink besides water?”
“Iced tea please,” said Elizabeth.

“Actually, I’ll take the same,” said Greg.

“And… I’d like a glass of cabernet sauvignon,” I said.

“I’m sorry sir,” said Anthony, “but we don’t serve alcohol before noon.” I pulled out my phone to look at the time— 11:14. Damn it.

“Water’s fine,” I said.

“Very good, I’ll be back for your orders in just a moment.”

“Thank you,” said Elizabeth as Anthony walked away.

“So, are you still planning on Idaho?” asked Greg.

“Yeah, I’m leaving on Friday,” I said.

“And you’ll be back…”

“Sunday.” I had a type of anniversary to honor. July 2, the day Hemingway committed suicide in 1961.

Fiction writer Justin Goodfellow can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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