In the Waiting Room, Listening to the Beatles on October 12, 1992

The first time I saw him, I was in the waiting room. Something about that room always left me anxious – perhaps it was the hypocritical quality of the happy colors painted on the walls, or the fact that you had to take an elevator up sixteen stories to reach it.

The first time I saw him, I was sitting in the corner where I always sit, listening to the Beatles on my earbud headphones. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds flooded into my ears, making the bad feeling almost bearable.

The Beatles used to do that to me. Make the bad feelings go away, I mean. But I guess that’s another story.

As it was, he came through the happy orange doors at 13 minutes past 11 in the morning. Everything in the room seemed to grow duller – the yellow and orange of the walls, the red of the cushions on the seats.

There was something like electricity in the air around him. I felt it as he sat down next to me.

He had headphones around his neck, and even through my own music, I could tell he was blasting the Beatles.

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