I don't recommend getting stabbed in the shoulder; one should avoid it at all costs. I'm back at work today and it's difficult to concentrate on account of my gunshot and stab wounds. Dr. Naghib's pain killers are not cutting it.
Kyle Hansen, aka Wombat, gave me a ride back down to Evergreen City in his Kenworth semi. We had to stop in Seattle to buy a couple dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, which he loves. Those things are too sweet for me, I can't deal with all that sugar. Anyway, Wombat's good company, but his taste in music runs to the God awful. Strangely, he seems to enjoy the music of artists after they have "jumped the shark;" after their glory days. For instance, Wombat doesn't have any David Lee Roth era Van Halen, he only has Van Hagar. So for the better part of our five hour trip to Evergreen City I have to listen to latter-day KISS, Scorpions, and Rolling Stones - groups that should have cashed in when they were still remembered fondly. And oh my God, I had to endure Billy Idol's "Money Money," which must be one of the worst songs ever recorded. I wanted to stab my ears with a pen.
It was nice of him to give me a ride, and Wombat covered my ass by calling in to work and doing a spot-on impersonation of me with strep throat. I wasn't really worried about getting fired or anything, but it's not good form to just skip work for a week and not call.
Margo pokes her head into my office. She's wearing a white seagull collar shirt with flared cuffs over a black 3/4 sleeve V-neck sweater. "Hey, stranger," she says. "You feeling better?"
"Uh, yeah," I say. "My immune system must not have recovered from the flu; I got strep throat."
She looks at me funny. "For a guy as fit as you are, you sure get sick a lot, Mackenzie."
Good point. If I were a skinny little anemic dude, my frequent sick days would be more plausible. But I mean, look at me: I'm a magnificent physical specimen.
My assistant/artist Chad seems happy to see me -- he even offers to go on a Starbucks run for me. Hey, as long as he's offering. I see that we've evolved past the master/bitch relationship into a more equitable relationship, which I suppose has its rewards. Still, it was nice having somebody to push around for a while. Connor Mackenzie: asshole.
Speaking of assholes, Ted Bradbury comes into the break room as I'm fueling up with some more coffee.
"Hey, Connor!" he says in an overly friendly way. "Long time no see, pal."
He claps my shoulder heartily. My left shoulder. I grip the counter, hissing, as a tiny hurricane of agony swirls around my shoulder. "Hey, Ted," I manage through gritted teeth.
"Don't be a stranger!" he says and walks off, chuckling.
I compose myself and go to the bathroom and make sure my wound isn't bleeding. I feel dizzy, sick. Time for another pain killer.
One of these days I am going to kick that guy in the nuts.