Garage

The curtains are closed against the summer heat, and an air conditioner chugs away in the window. Our patient sits in an overstuffed chair to one side of a dimly lit room, loudly protesting that he’s fine.

In fact he probably is, but we have to assess him anyway. To one side sit a couch and a love seat, with a fireplace behind him. The coffee table is littered with framed photographs and trophies. A large television glows mutely in one corner. The room is cluttered but clean, not like some places we see.

In the other corner of the room stands a fully-decorated Christmas tree with a tire leaning against it. Through the kitchen doorway I can see a cooler and 3/4 of a sleigh bed, disassembled on the floor. The fourth piece leans on the stairs behind me. A golf bag and a tree pruning saw stand in the corner along with two snow shovels. Two infant car seats hide in the lee of the coffee table.

Our patient insists on staying home. He signs our paperwork and points us out the door. As we drive away, I notice the garage door standing open and empty.

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