Chartan and the Panic Attack

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ChartanThe ongoing saga of a guru turned limo driver.

(Last week: Chartan rejects the temptress Elisa.)

Chartan sat behind the wheel of the limo practicing “happy” facial expressions. He expected Brazil to reflect the look of someone suffering the ravages of cancer—he wanted to be uplifting, not morose.

            He pushed the doorbell.

            Brazil stood at attention in the threshold, smiling and showing no signs of a disease.

            “Are you okay? asked Brazil.

            Chartan quickly erased his shock appearance. “I’m fine—haven’t seen you in a long time, just surprised…”

            “That I’m not on my deathbed.”

            “Right. Cancer stricken.”

            “The doc is yanking it out in two days.”

            “Your prostate?”

            “Enemy number one—it has to go. Come on in.”

            Chartan and Brazil sat next to each other on the sofa.

            “Have a beer?” asked Brazil.


            “Good…I’ll get you one right after I go to the bathroom.”

            For the next hour they talked about their night on the mountain top and the ensuing events that led to them both marrying women they hardly knew.

            “Julie will be home soon—she went food shopping. She’s been a great caretaker.”

            “Gina is perfect. Our son is perfect—I wish I spent more time with them.”

            “Don’t put it off—you might end up with cancer.” Brazil laughed, but Chartan did not. Gina was probably making dinner with Jake coloring a book at the kitchen table. He stood up.

            “What hospital will you be at?” asked Chartan.

            “You don’t have to come—you have a family to take care of.”

            “I’ll be there…what hospital?

            “Downtown General on Thursday, noonish.”

            Chartan ran to the limo, images of his wife, son and Brazil spinning in his head. When he pulled on the door handle, he thought he heard Elisa shouting. He turned around. Looked across the street. No one was in sight. He got in, locked the doors and listened to his heavy breathing. My first panic attack.    

To be continued next Sunday…

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