Dr. Gallop

by Gary Percesepe

I fired my doctor and set out for home. He was a lousy doctor. My mother had fired him, too. He'd told her she had a weak heart. An “enlarged heart,” Dr. Gallop had called it, flat as a pancake. “You're as dumb as your name,” my mother told him. “Everyone knows I have a big heart.” Mom kicked me in the shins. “She does,” I blurted out. That was a year ago. Mother died shortly afterwards from a heart attack. It gave me pleasure to fire Gallop again. He'd said I didn't have long to live. But I felt great. At the park I admired the sailboats in the marina. One was bobbing lazily out to sea. I walked to the residential part of town, admiring the homes. Who knew roofs came in so many styles and shapes? A woman struggled with her groceries. I helped her to her door. Just then, a firetruck and two police cars went screaming down the street. I followed them. There'd been an explosion downtown. Everything was pretty much destroyed. I stopped to talk to a firefighter. It was a shame, we both agreed. But no one was hurt. That was good. When I got home, I was tired. I thought about calling my mother, but she was in heaven. I made a cup of tea instead. It was getting late. Holding the teacup to my ear, I decided to call my mother after all. 

“Mom, how's it going up there?” 

“I'm bored,” my mother said. “Don't come here. There's nothing for us to do.” 

“But aren't there angels?” 

“Don't get me started on the fecking angels, they're the most boring of all,” she said. “All that bowing and scraping, who are they kidding? Boring, boring, boring.”  

“But I talked to Gallop, Mom. I'm coming to see you soon,” I said. 

“Oh, him. You should know better than to believe anything that quack says. What's the matter with you, anyway?” I considered this. “But I was looking forward to seeing you,” I said. “Go to hell, Bob,” my mother said, “it's more exciting.”