An old man sits in the waiting room chair
at the infectious disease clinic
bending over a number of items
which he has placed on the carpet
at his feet; a clipboard with his medical history,
a few scraps of mail, a bottle of Mountain Dew
and half a Kit Kat. He is just sitting there,
staring down at these things as if trying to figure out
what they are and how they came to be in his possession.
Kids are screaming and running around.
Paper signs are taped everywhere, instructing people
which line to stand in. The windows face the nearby
cinder cone, its pines black beneath the stony clouds.
The old man reaches into his back pocket for his wallet.
A look of panic flashes across his face.
He frantically checks all his other pockets
before noticing the wallet lying open-faced
on the floor in front of him, next to the Kit Kat
and the Mountain Dew, which he takes a long swig of
then rearranges all the items on the carpet,
looks at them, rearranges them again,
checks his back pocket for his wallet.