Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hear T. Coraghessan Boyle read this by clicking on the link.

The New Yorker has a new story out from the author in the cartoon:

They told him he had to wear a mask in public. Which was ridiculous. It made him feel like he had a target painted on his back—or his face, actually, right in the middle of his face. But if he wanted to walk out the door of the clinic he was going to walk out with that mask on—either that or go to jail. Outside, it was raining, which made everything that much harder, because what were you going to do with a wet mask? How could you even breathe? Here, inside the office, with the doctor and his caseworker from Health Services, there was no sound of the rain, or if there was he couldn’t hear it—all he could hear was the rasp and wheeze of his own compromised breathing as he sucked air through the fibres of the mask.

The doctor was saying something to him now, and Marciano watched him frame the words with his hands before they both looked to the caseworker, a short slim woman with a big bust and liquid eyes, whom he would have liked to fuck if he weren’t so sick. She was named Rosa Hinojosa, and he kept saying her name in his head, because of the way it rhymed, which somehow made him feel better.

“You understand what the doctor is telling you?” she asked in her clipped north-of-the-border Spanish, which he could have listened to all day under other circumstances. But these were the circumstances, and until he got better he would have to play their game, Dr. Rosen’s game and Rosa Hinojosa’s, too.

He nodded.

“No more lapses, you understand that? You will report here at eight each morning, when the clinic opens, for your intravenous medication, and”—she held up two plastic pill containers—“you will take your oral medication, without fail, every night at dinner. And you must wear your mask at all times..."

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