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While we were waiting to sing last night, my ex-partner came to talk to me.

"You are on oxygen?" he says.

"Yes. I got my fourth pneumonia in March. I am a little better."

"Well, we ARE getting older." he says.

I have been thinking that about him. He is nine years younger than me. He has quite a pot belly and doesn't look healthy at all. He looks like a walking heart attack, frankly.

And he tells me his medical problems. Atrial fibrillation and a TIA, in clinic. So he is on a blood thinner and a blood pressure medicine and had All the Tests. MRI, MRAs, head CT, probably testing for clotting disorders, echocardiogram, Zio patch.

This morning I wonder, why the hell is he still working? Ok, he is nine years younger than me, but I made about 1/3 or 1/4 fourth the money he is making, running my own little clinic, for the last decade. And his wife works. Are they drinking pearls dissolved in champagne?

He talks about the local housing sales and that some people can just plunk down 800K for a house. I blink at him. True, and this is a complaint. Way back from 2000-2005, he would say, "I could make more money if I worked in the midwest." The grass is STILL greener. Really? He would complain about money sitting in the small lunch room, sitting under the sign that said "Fine for whining: $50.00." The nurses and office manager and I thought it was interesting and stupidly funny that he was ENTIRELY oblivious to the sign being put there for him.

His spouse and son were in the audience. I didn't recognize his spouse at first. For one thing, she was tan. Musta gone somewhere or done a tanning booth. He said she has taken on another job even though she was already really really busy. Her health does not look good either. If I was their doctor, I would recommend joining a CSA and reducing the amount they eat, but I am not. She nods at me. They shunned me back in the day and he was one of the ones who in 2005 said that our only contact should be to be "Polite in the halls."

He also tells me where his house is. I have been there once because they invited our whole Rotary Club. I went, knowing that I am NOT a friend. I enjoyed it. But he doesn't seem to remember that. I wonder how many neurons his tia whacked.

I think he should retire. Surely he's saved, he used to tell me how well his investments were doing.

I do not know. An article in the Atlantic said that 18% of medical people have quit/retired over Covid-19 and that is not counting the ones who died. Our medical system is going to break down if we don't make it less stressful. Single payer, hons. That or we'll have folks dying of appendicitis for the lack of an operating room staff. That would be a bummer.

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