Henry went to bed that night and dreamed that he could fly. It didn’t even take any effort all he needed to do was to concentrate and visualize himself rising above where he stood. He would fly above the streets of his neighborhood and find himself floating across the rivers and the bridges of New York City. He could see the home where he grew up in; traveled through time and watched scenes of his childhood replayed.
He would watch as his father would be throwing a baseball to him and his brother. As his grandmother sat on the porch drinking coffee and reading the days papers. He would see his mother in the kitchen preparing dinner while singing the song that played on the radio. His sister doing homework on the floor while watching reruns of the Jetsons or Scooby Doo. Suddenly he would fall but never hit the ground; just an endless sensation of falling, falling, falling…
He woke up, saw that the numbers of his clock were past the 5 O’clock cut off and he walked to the kitchen, made himself a cup of coffee and sat down. On the table was a notepad, nothing on it but a pen with its cap on, like a soldier wearing a Pickelhaube standing erect by a doorway – protecting something, someone…
He pulled off the Pickelhaube, and used the blood of the soldier to write some words on the blank sheet of paper.
“Why?” He began to cry – he didn’t feel sick – he felt sick but not deathly sick. He was just tired…
The appointment at the second-opinion Doctor was set for 10:30. The time was now 8:23 and he jumped in the shower, got dressed and left his apartment to get that second opinion.
He had called the original Doctor on Monday and asked him if he should get a second opinion.
“By all means, Mr. Mann. I will have all your medical records and test results ready for pickup with the front desk. I am hoping there was an error made or a better prognosis than what I have made.”
He got to the Doctor at 10:15; waited in the front room and read a magazine from a year earlier.
“Mr. Mann? Please fill out this form and do you have the medical records, any pathology slides or other test results from your Doctor?” She was a very pretty Russian woman with a strict demeanor which said, “All business and no bullshitting.” He passed the paperwork over to her and filled out the form she gave him.
The Doctor was ready at 10:30 for him; right on time.
“Have a seat Mr. Mann.” The Doctor instructed him.
“Call me Henry, Doctor.”
“Well, Henry I am having an issue with the tests and paperwork given to you by your Doctor.”
“Did I bend them or expose them to light?”
“No, looking at them I don’t seem – I need to re-run some tests, are you ok with that?”
“Yeah – but whats the issue?”
“I need to confirm my diagnosis before I say anything. The nurse will be coming in to guide you from one room to another one down the hall. Just three procedures and we can meet in my office once I see the results.”
“OK, what worse can things be? I am already, apparently dying so…”
“Lets not jump to any conclusion here, Mr, um, Henry.”
Henry went through the tests he had been put through two weeks earlier. It was kind of nerve wrecking since he was scared that some of the tests would cause him to die right then and there. This time, his two children and his mother were waiting for him in the reception area. This time he did not come alone – this time he was prepared for whatever they threw at him.