Sketches of a retired physician assistant at the VA, a Cuban car dealer, and a high-ranking member of the brass and his wife.
Seventy-seven. Looked sixty, at most. Near-sighted as all hell but bright, sharp eyes, you’d never have been able to tell that he couldn’t see you. Got a paunchy belly—maybe he liked his drink a little too much. He didn’t know what to make of us at first, when we entered the room. Formal formalities, maybe I walked in a bit too stiff. He warmed up real quick, though. Soon we got to talking. Asked how long I’d worked there (I lied: “About… two years, I think?”) and what my shifts were (“When do you get off?” “Seven, seven-thirty.” “Ah, I see. You work three days a week straight, or?” “Three or four days, usually.” “Oh! You get overtime?” “…They don’t like to give us overtime, heh.” “…Heh. I see.”). Soon it came out he used to worked over thirty years as a physician assistant in various places—always having to prove himself, PAs were kind of a novel thing at that time. His favorite place to work at was the Veterans Affairs medical center.