There’s a memory gap, between the time I left the house Friday morning and the time I got the phone call.
I don’t remember what I was working on at the time. I don’t remember if it was before lunch or after lunch, or what time it was when I answered my phone.
At the time, the conversation didn’t shock me. It does, now, though. Because of the way the mind works.
Jeff’s body had already cried “wolf” so many times, it wasn’t too terribly concerning. We were operating under the well-documented and demonstrated assumption that he would rally, of course.
“Jeff told me not to call,” she said. “He’s going to be mad I called you, but I felt I should.”
Typical for Jeff, he had fallen asleep in his squeaky, red-glitter vinyl, swivel chair behind the display case. Importantly, the swivel and squeak would often jolt him awake, if he happened to drift off. They had saved him from falling back, or falling front, or falling off.
“I had a hard time waking him up,” she said. “A really, really hard time. I thought he should go to the hospital, but couldn’t get him to go. He doesn’t look so good.”
Thanking her, I hung up, and immediately dialed Jeff.
I rushed over his typical, jovial greeting. Hi, just calling to check up on you. How’s it goin’? ”
“It’s goin’!” he joked. “Had two customers today.”
“Cool. So … how are you feeling?”
“Oh, I’m, uh, feelin’ ok.” He stammered.
“Really?” I asked. “What’s been going on there?”
After a beat, Jeff huffed. “She called you, didn’t she?”
“Yep. You wanna tell me what happened?”
“Nah. It was nothin’.”
“Really?” I ppersisted. “She thought it was somethin’. Said you scared her.”
He explained he’d arrived there later than he had planned (typical). “Was walkin’ around, then, I was out of breath, and I was sweatin’ real hard. So, I set down to drink my pop.”
“Mt Dew?” I prompted, knowing he’d likely have to answer ‘yes.’
Knowing I’d be annoyed and prone to not so subtly reminding him, again, that sugar and caffeine were not a diabetic’s friend, Jeff decided to skip right over that rote role-play.
“Aw, I didn’t mean to fall asleep,” he almost whined. Continuing on a sigh, he finished in typically optimistic Jeff style, “… but, it was a good sleep, so, I must have needed it.”
“So, you’re totally fine, now?”
“Yeah,” he answered. “Kinda a little bit dizzy, sick to my stomach.”
“Maybe, you shouldn’t finish the Mt Dew,” I poked.
“Oh, I already drank it, all.” Jeff confessed. “And I think it helped, some. I’m not so tired now.”
“Uh, huh, sure.” I snarked. His expected chuckle sounded a little off, not quite right.
“Hey,” I gentled my tone. “You sure? You feel ok to drive home?”
“I’m ok.” Jeff assured me.
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