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January 20, 2017
Inauguration Day – Early evening
On the drive from the barn up to my house in the hills, Maria follows me in her dinged-up silver Volvo, an urban warrior, with its telltale signs of knocking metal against metal for hard to find parking spots in D.C. Her reflection in my rearview mirror has my near constant attention. In it she appears miniaturized and horizontal and in realtime like on TV, the venue where she’d first captivated me.
While still in the parking lot at the stable, I’d scanned myself on the off chance an ’on call’ doctor might need me for an emergency. Bruised a bit on the inside and sticky on the out, I wasn’t so far gone from whiskey and smelling like sex in a barn that a hot shower, followed by two coffees with sugar and an egg salad sandwich, couldn’t straighten me out.
But I’d need an hour.
And I’d rather not, says the thrumming coming from between my legs that wants nothing at all to do with doctoring tonight.
Maria had been right earlier during our horseback ride. No one in her Washington power circles would ever know me. I had arrived only six months ago from Stanford Medical Center, where I’d been happy until the afternoon I’d slapped Jeanne across her face.
The longtime someone I’d thought surely would be my wife.
Wearing the red streak blooming across her cheek, Jeanne had sent daggers through her eyes at me, which I’d taken to mean – she’d expected an apology for slapping her for cheating.
That bit of my personal history I am hyper-secretive about, but Jeanne had followed the myth of greener pastures – taking off for her lover’s vineyard in Napa – and I’d been headhunted from coast to coast.
Taking a research position, as far away from her as possible, I’d quietly slipped out of state with my horse and tack and no assault charges, and the needle had dropped on a different tune in Virginia, when the clown candidate, Donald Trump, had won his primary and I’d become obsessed with proving him insane.
I turn into my driveway and soon, Maria and I are trotting up the steps together with her overnight bag.
”I get the feeling there’s money to be made in brain surgery,” she says, following me into my spacious new home.