PUSHER by Brian Chapin

The faded purple plastic plaque in scratched faux-marble praised him: Best Psychiatrist 2000.  All I saw was a bored old fat man. His argyle socks, elastic shot, fell down fat pink ankles.  Crumbs from his breakfast (scrambled, wheat, hash) leapt from chin to chin, an army hopping islands in a sea of blubber.

I held her hand as she talked of death—our baby’s—of pain, of grief, drawn shades, and darkened rooms of three lives no longer lived. All the while, he played–with the Effexor letter opener or the Cymbalta scrip pad or his Zoloft sticky notes.

Finally, he raised his head and said, “How about we try Abilify?”

BRIAN CHAPIN lives outside of Washington, D.C.

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